black damsel bug

(Nabis subcoleoptratus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

black damsel bug

 

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and abundant

Flight/Season

Late May through August

Habitat

Fields

Size

Total Length: (10 mm) average

          Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
Identification

Black damsel bug is a small true bug. It is found in low on plants in fields and gardens across northern United States and adjacent Canadian provinces. It is common and locally abundant in Minnesota.

The body is soft and somewhat ant-like in appearance, and late stage (instar) nymphs are ant mimics. Adults average (10 mm) long. The head, thorax, and abdomen are black and shiny.

The head is narrowed into a distinct “neck” behind the eyes. There are two large compound eyes on the side of the head and two small simple eyes (occeli) on top of the head. The antennae are yellowish, thread-like, and long, more than half as long as the body. They have four segments. The basal segment (scape) is not twice as long as the head and is not abruptly thickened. The beak-like projection of the head that contains the piercing mouthparts (rostrum) is slender, yellowish, and has four segments.

The exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum) has a wide, distinct collar at the end (nearest the head).

The abdomen is in the shape of an elongated oval and is much wider than the thorax. Each abdominal section is enlarged laterally creating a continuous, flat, border (connexivum). The margins of the connexivum are yellowish.

There are two pairs of wings. The forewings (hemelytra) on the mature adult are thickened, very short, and do not have a membranous section. The hindwings are thin, membranous, and concealed under the forewings.

The legs are long, slender, and yellowish. They are not ringed. The third segment (femur) of the front legs is slightly enlarged.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Nymphal Food

 

 
Adult Food

Plant bug (Miridae) nymphs

 
Life Cycle

Eggs overwinter. Late instar nymphs are ant mimics.

 
Behavior

Despite their small size, damsel bugs are able to deliver a painful bite when harassed.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.

 
Comments

Taxonomy
This species was formerly classified as Nabicula subcoleoptrata. The species Nabicula has been recently demoted to subgenus status, and this and other species were returned to the genus Nabis.

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids and allies)

 

No Rank:

Euhemiptera

 

No Rank:

Neohemiptera

 

No Rank:

Prosorrhyncha

 

Suborder:

Heteroptera (true bugs)

 

No Rank:

Euheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Neoheteroptera

 

No Rank:

Panheteroptera

 

Infraorder:

Cimicomorpha (thaumastocorid bugs)

 

Family:

Nabidae (damsel bugs)

 

Subfamily:

Nabinae

 

Tribe:

Nabini

 
Synonyms

Nabicula subcoleoptrata

 
Common
Names

black damsel bug

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Hemelytron

The forewing of true bugs (Order Hemiptera), thickened at the base and membranous at the tip. Plural: hemelytra.

 

Instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Rostrum

The stiff, beak-like projection of the carapace or prolongation of the head of an insect, crustacean, or cetacean.

 

Scape

On plants: An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster. On insects: The basal segment of the antenna.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  black damsel bug   black damsel bug
       
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Alfredo Colon
8/20/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

black damsel bug


     
     
 
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Created: 7/1/2019

Last Updated:

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