chapter  8
14 Pages

Order in nature and complexity in insect diets

Population crashes, fluctuations in developmental periods, shifts in body weights, and reduction in fecundity in the target insect are examples of sudden and undesirable outcomes that can occur in a rearing facility. Such events are reminiscent of the unexpected results manifested by the dinosaurs that ran amok in Michael Crichton’s

Jurassic Park

and the intellectual construct, the so-called butterfly effect, which suggests that if a butterfly flaps its wings today in Peking, it may cause changes in the weather systems next month in New York (Gleick, 1987). The most salient feature of the butterfly effect is the amplification of some seemingly minor factor that triggers complex or unpredictable results. Because diets are complex, unpredictable outcomes in insect rearing facilities are always possible. This chapter examines some seemingly innocuous factors that can become amplified and lead to undesired outcomes in insect rearing facilities.