The Mechanisms of Nutritional Homeostasis

  • S. J. Simpson
  • D. Raubenheimer
  • P. G. Chambers


Insects have evolved means of using an extraordinary variety of food sources, many of which are, to say the least, nutritionally unpromising. In addition to possessing an impressive array of mechanisms to deal with the physical, chemical, and other challenges posed by such foods, it has become evident in recent years that insects can also cope with two additional problems: the heterogeneity of available diets and their own changing nutritional needs. Compensatory responses are exhibited which help to alleviate the deleterious effects of such nutritional discrepancies. Such responses can be both behavioral (through food selection and regulation of amounts eaten) and postingestive. The properties of foods which play a role include not only nutrients, both singly and interactively (Simpson and Raubenheimer, 1993a,b; Simpson and Simpson, 1990;Slansky, 1993; Slansky and Wheeler, 1991; Waldbauer and Friedman, 1991; Wheeler and Slansky, 1991), but also water (Bernays, 1990; Raubenheimer and Gade, 1993, 1994) and the combination of nutrients and allelochemicals (Raubenheimer, 1992; Raubenheimer and Simpson, 1990; Slansky, 1992; Slansky and Wheeler, 1992).


Taste Receptor Meal Size Digestible Carbohydrate Growth Target Nutrient Plane 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Simpson
  • D. Raubenheimer
  • P. G. Chambers

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