A distributed delay age structure model is presented for plants and insects that describes the dynamics of per capita energy (dry matter) acquisition and allocation patterns, and the within-organism subunit (e.g. leaves, fruit, ova) number dynamics that occur during growth, reproduction, and development. Four species of plants (common bean, cassava, cotton, and tomato) and two species of insects (pea aphid and a ladybird beetle) are modeled. A common acquisition (i.e. functional response) submodel is used to estimate the daily photosynthetic rates in plants and consumption rates in pea aphid and the ladybird beetle. The focus of this work is to capture the essence of the common attributes between trophic levels across this wide range of taxa. The models are compared with field or laboratory data. A hypothesis is proposed for the observed patterns of reproduction in pea aphid and in a ladybird beetle.