What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Nabids, sometimes known as damsel bugs, are medium sized (approx. 5mm long) predacious insects that may sometimes share a superficial resemblance to the Reduvidae and Miridae, though they are more closely related to the Cimicidae. The Nabidae is the only family in the superfamily Naboidea.

The Nabidae are primarily predaceous though some have been recorded as feeding on plant material. Animal prey is normally insects but other invertebrates will be taken if the opportunity arises while the nabid is hunting through the vegetation or leaf litter. Some nabids have the forelegs modified with spines to assist in the holding of prey while feeding is taking place.

Wing reduction is a common trait within the Nabidae.


The Australian Nabidae are represented by both subfamilies (Nabinae and Prostemmatinae) with 22 species in 7 genera. The Prostemmatinae, most speciose in the north-east of Queensland, is represented in Australia by three genera and seven species. The Nabinae contains 4 genera and 16 species and is distributed across all Australian states.

  • Nabidae (Heteroptera)

  • predacious bug