Damsel bugs are often mistaken for another type of true bug, assassin bugs (family Reduviidae). One way to tell them apart is to focus on their “beaks”. Damselbugs have a four-segmented beak that is not held in a groove under the thorax, while assassin bugs have a shorter, three-segmented beak that fits in a groove under the thorax.  Both adults and nymphs hunt soft-bodied insects, “stabbing” their prey with the aforementioned beak (piercing / sucking mouthparts). Look for them from April to November on plants in weedy fields, crops, and meadows, as well as by lights at night.  

Photo by: Glenn Marangelo on 6/3/21 in Missoula, MT