Green Stink Bug (Chinavia hilaris)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Green Stink Bug.
Updated: 9/25/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Green Stink Bug stinks literally and figuratively: it smells bad and is destroys a wide variety of food crops and plants.
This popular garden and farm pest has a hearty appetite for all the same things people enjoy eating. Both adults and young nymphs use their mouth parts to poke holes in the tender, young plants and then suck the plant's juices. If this does not kill the plant, it certainly damages its ability to produce good fruit and seeds. The Green Stink Bug's diet usually results in deformed or hardened produce that is not edible or usable for re-seeding. Evidence of a Green Stink Bug's presence is seen on the host plant in the form of scarring, dimples, spotting on fruit and overall discoloration. Typically, the population levels of Green Stink Bugs is kept in check because they are eaten by a variety of other things: birds, spiders, toads, wasps and other bug-eating insects. Gardeners and farmers can also pick them off plants and kill them, though this can be time-consuming. Chemical control are used in heavily infested farms or gardens.
Green Stink Bugs look vastly different when they are young. Green eggs are laid in clusters and look like small seeds. Once the group of eggs hatch, round larvae emerge and may be mistaken for beetles. Nymphs (juveniles) are mostly black with fine white lines crossing their backs. Red spots appear on the fringe surrounding the head and two orange-red spots mark the top of the elytra (wing covering). As they mature, more green coloration becomes apparent and they grow bigger with more angular elytra. By the time they are mature adults, they are completely green and their elytra is shaped almost like a shield with a triangular center.
Green Stink Bugs emit a foul odor when they feel threatened and are usually left alone because it smells quite acrid. The scent glands are located at the top of the green triangle on their 'backs' and the chemical disperses quickly. The smell is sometimes described as a mix of burning oil, hair and chemicals and may be sprayed, not secreted.