Increases In Biomass

Biomass increase of insects during development can be appreciable, with immature final instars weighing as much as 1000 or even 10,000 times greater than first instars. Changes in biomass can be expressed as either an absolute (weight/time) or a relative (weight/weight/time) increase in biomass. Absolute growth usually is greatest in later instars and for the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, larval weight increases as much as 90% (10-fold) in the final two instars. Similarly, 90% of the growth of larval Paratendipes albimanus (Diptera: Chironomidae) occurs in the final 10% of the life cycle. In contrast, relative growth rates normally decrease in later stages of development as the insect increases in size.

INCREASES IN BODY SIZE AND DYAR'S LAW

In 1890, H. G. Dyar noted that the head capsule widths of lepidopteran larvae followed a geometric progression in growth. During development of an immature insect, increases in body size occur in discrete steps, with highly sclerotized body parts exhibiting predictable and regular increases by a relatively constant factor, subsequently known as Dyar's Law (or Rule). Although initially based on observations of lepi-dopteran larvae, Dyar's Law has been applied to immature insects in general and refers to the geometric progression in the size of sclerotized structures that is constant throughout development. Dyar's Law has been widely used in entomological studies to discern instars of immature insects and also has been used to predict the size of instars missing from samples. The ability to distinguish instars is crucial to accurately describe insect life histories and growth patterns and is widely used in secondary production studies.

Because membranous portions of the less sclerotized cuticle (e.g., intersegmental membranes of the abdomen) allow the body to grow more or less continuously, overall body size is not considered a good indicator of instar. In addition, the increase in body size at each molt varies with different species and the growth of various body parts of many insects may differ from the growth rate of the body as a whole (i.e., allometric growth). In contrast, the rigid exoskeleton of

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Bee Keeping

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