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Nabis rugosus 2006.05.28 13.47.08-p5280196.jpg
Nabis rugosus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Infraorder: Cimicomorpha
Family: Nabidae
Costa, 1853
Nabis biformis
Prostemma albimacula
Himacerus apterus

The insect family Nabidae contains the damsel bugs. There are over 500 species in 20 genera.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]


These 23 genera belong to the family Nabidae:

Data sources: i = ITIS,[4] c = Catalogue of Life,[5] g = GBIF,[6] b =[7]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Nabidae Report". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  5. ^ "Browse Nabidae". Catalogue of Life. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  6. ^ "Nabidae". GBIF. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  7. ^ "Nabidae Family Information". Retrieved 2018-04-30.

External links[edit]

Media related to Nabidae at Wikimedia Commons