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The insect family Nabidae contains the damsel bugs. The term damsel bug is the common name used for the Nabids. There are over 400 species. They are soft-bodied, elongate, winged terrestrial predators. Many damsel bugs catch and hold prey with their forelegs, similar to mantids. They are considered helpful species in agriculture because of their predation on many types of crop pests, such as cabbage worms, aphids, and lygus bugs.
Damsel bugs of the genus Nabis are the most common. They and other genera are most numerous in fields of legumes such as alfalfa, but they can be found in many other crops and in non-cultivated areas. They are yellow to tan in color and have large, bulbous eyes and stiltlike legs. They are generalist predators, catching almost any insect smaller than themselves, and cannibalizing each other when no other food is available. Several species have bitten humans.
- Faúndez, E. I. & M. A. Carvajal. 2011. A human case of bitting by Nabis punctipennis (Hemíptera: Heteroptera: Nabidae) in Chile. Acta Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae, 51(2): 407-409.
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