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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 500 species in 20 genera. 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.
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. 2014. Contribution to the knowledgment of the Nabis punctipennis Blanchard, 1852 complex (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Nabidae) in Chile. Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia, 42(1): 63-69
- Braman, S. K. 2000. Damsel bugs (Nabidae). Pp. 639–656. In: Schaefer C. W. & Panizzi A. R. (eds.): Heteroptera of Economic Importance. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
- 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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