Dr. Andrew Darling Seeks Crowdfunding via Kickstarter for Arthropod Rex: Giant Insect Husbandry

Developing the infrastructure for farmers to grow great, glorious, gigantic insects to feed the world.


Austin, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/14/2014 -- Something is bugging Dr. Andrew Darling. He wants to grow giant insects. Dr. Darling is not embarking on a large-scale science experiment or indulging in a mere hobby. He’s trying to feed the world through large insects. Today there are hundreds of insect species used for food and other commercial purposes, especially in the developing world. While he realizes there is a lot of money to be made he doesn’t have a profit motive. He wants to empower people to construct their own giant insect breeding terrariums to grow their own food.

As to how one grows giant insects, it's related to the physical chemistry and physiology of insect respiration. That mechanism is the primary reason why insects are small today but used to be much larger in eras when the Earth had more atmospheric oxygen. The theoretical model is complex, but the implication is straightforward - if you grow insects in terrariums with higher than normal oxygen over generations, increased insect size naturally follows. How big can insects get under these conditions? The results vary by species and extensive research still needs to be conducted as oxygen concentrations in terrariums need to be pushed to much higher levels than found in nature. Over time milestones can be reached and optimal insect sizes determined through ongoing experimentation and observation.

The Kickstarter plan to enable these breeding experiments is divided into two phases. Phase one is meant to fine tune designs for DIY high oxygen terrariums, validate those designs, and make that information available to backers of this Kickstarter project. Dr. Darling would also like to start insect trials in a 50 gallon terrarium system with an industrial oxygen source. Based on the findings of phase one, phase two will roll out industrial breeding of giant insects to see what species can push to the largest sizes possible through racks of parallel terrariums.

Crowdfunding is sought for Phase 1, developing a DIY home system design, validating it against an industrial equivalent (to be used in Phase 2), and starting insect trials with at least one species. If this project exceeds its crowdfunding goal all extra funds will be applied to Phase 2; the large-scale breeding of giant insects of multiple species for at least a year.

This crowdfunding campaign ends on November 5, 2014.

The Arthropod Rex Kickstarter Page -

The Daring Research and Development Website -

About Andrew Darling
Dr. Darling holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Biomedical Science from Drexel University. A former bioengeering professor, he currently manages all day to day operations of a product development company in Austin, Texas.