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Green Stink Bug (Chinavia hilaris)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Green Stink Bug



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The Green Stink Bug stinks literally and figuratively: it smells bad and it destroys a wide variety of food crops and plants.



Updated: 08/11/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 into tender young plants and then suck out the plant's juices. If this does not kill the plant, it certainly reduces its ability to produce good fruit and seeds. The Green Stink Bug's feeding habit 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 like birds, spiders, toads, wasps, and other bug-eating insects. Gardeners and farmers can also hand-pick Green Stink Bugs off of plants and kill them, though this may be time-consuming. Chemical insecticides are used on 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, the round larvae emerge and may be mistaken for young beetles. Nymphs (juveniles) are mostly black with fine white or yellow lines crossing their backs, punctuated by a large orange dot on either side. As it ages, an orange border around the 'shoulders' may also stretch down the sides of the wing coverings. Red spots appear on the fringe surrounding the head. 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. They may wander indoors in the summer. Catching this bug with a tissue and removing it from the area can help prevent its odor from lingering inside the home or office.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Pentatomidae
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          Genus: Chinavia
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            Species: hilaris
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Chinavia hilaris
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 17mm (0.55" to 0.66")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, black, yellow, white, red
Descriptors: armored, armoured, flying, stout, striped, spotted, shield
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 14mm and 17mm
Lo: 14mm
Md: 15.5mm
Hi: 17mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Green Stink Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Green Stink Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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