Establishing appropriate sizes and shapes of dendritic arbors is critical for proper wiring of the central nervous system. Here we report that Insulin-like Peptide 2 (DILP2) locally activates transiently expressed insulin receptors in the central dendrites of Drosophila Dm8 amacrine neurons to positively regulate dendritic field elaboration. We found DILP2 was expressed in L5 lamina neurons, which have axonal terminals abutting Dm8 dendrites. Proper Dm8 dendrite morphogenesis and synapse formation required insulin signaling through TOR (target of rapamycin) and SREBP (sterol regulatory element-binding protein), acting in parallel with previously identified negative regulation by Activin signaling to provide robust control of Dm8 dendrite elaboration. A simulation of dendritic growth revealed trade-offs between dendritic field size and robustness when branching and terminating kinetic parameters were constant, but dynamic modulation of the parameters could mitigate these trade-offs. We suggest that antagonistic DILP2 and Activin signals from different afferents appropriately size Dm8 dendritic fields.