Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Damsel Bugs.

Salient features of adults. Terrestrial.

Predacious (aggressive, holding prey with the fore-legs). Small to large; 5.5–10 mm long; fliers; probably emitting repugnatorial liquid as a defence reaction; with narrow-elongate bodies; conspicuously stilt-legged. Rostrum clearly separated ventrally from the prosternum by a sclerotized gula; 4 segmented (long and slender). Antennae longer than the head, readily visible from above; 4 segmented, or 5 segmented; non-aristate. Ocelli present. Metathorax with a scent-gland opening, comprising a funnel surrounded by a dull patch of elaborately sculptured cuticle, visible laterally on either side. Fore-wings well developed; differentiated into a basally thickened and a distally membranous region; with a costal fracture and cuneus; with a clavus. Fore-legs modified and raptorial to non-raptorial. Hind coxae mobile; rotatory. Tarsi 3 segmented. Claws all apical. Pulvilli absent. The abdomen without ventral silvery pubescence.

Soft-bodied; by contrast with Reduviidae, the prosternum lacks a stridulatory groove; the fore-legs less obviously raptorial in form, and the curved rostrum is longer.

Taxonomy. Suborder Heteroptera; Cimicoidea.

British representation. 13 species in Britain; genera 6. Aptus, Dolichonabis, Himacerus, Nabis, Prostemma, Stalia.

Illustrations. • Prostemma guttula: B. Ent. 684. • Prostemma guttula: B. Ent. 684, legend+text. • Prostemma guttula: B. Ent. 684, text cont.. • Dolichonabis, Himacerus, Nabis (Southwood & Leston). • Aptus, Dolichonabis, Himacerus, Nabis, Prostemma and Stalia, with Reduviidae: Saunders (1892).. • Nabis ferus and Nabis rugosus, with Saldidae: Saunders (1892)..

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Hemiptera. Version: 16th May 2016.’.