chapter  27
18 Pages

Damsel Bugs (Nabidae)

The Nabidae, or damsel bugs, contains 31 genera and approximately 380 species (Lattin 1989, and references therein). Nabids, generalist predators, feed on a wide variety of small arthropods including both pest and beneficial species (e.g., Jervis 1990). They also probe plants, but are unable to complete development in the absence of prey (Stoner 1972). Probing the plant for moisture appears to do little injury and may help sustain the predator in periods of prey scarcity, although

Nabis alternatus

Parshley carries the plant pathogenic yeast

Nematospora coryli

(Burgess et al. 1983). Nabidae have a wide geographic distribution and vary considerably in habitats exploited. Much of the current knowledge stems from their prevalence in managed agroecosystems, but they are known to occupy many terrestrial habitats including arboreal environments (e.g., Larivière 1992a). An examination of 17 species of Nabidae in Romania revealed 4 species only from crop habitats, 3 only in the mountains, and 10 from a variety of habitats (Rosca 1982).