Damsel Bugs (a.k.a. “Nabids”) — Nabis spp.

Adult damsel bug
Adult damsel bug. Photo credit: A. Jensen.

General Information:

Damsel Bugs (a.k.a. “Nabids”) — Nabis spp. are generalist predators in crops and natural settings, with specialized front legs for grappling prey, and piercing-sucking mouth parts for sucking body fluids of prey.

Biology and Life History:

  • Damsel bugs are common nearly everywhere potatoes are grown in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Adult damsel bugs colonize potato fields in later spring, and nymphs can be found during the summer months.
  • In addition to aphids and Lygus, damsel bugs will feed on caterpillars like loopers and armyworms, and the eggs and young larvae of Colorado potato beetle.
  • Like all beneficial insects in potatoes, damsel bugs are very sensitive to broad-spectrum insecticides such as pyrethroids.