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Southern Green Stink Bug (Nezara viridula)

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

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Southern Green Stink Bugs may look like bright green gems, but they can be garden pests in warm and humid regions.

Updated: 07/13/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Southern Green Stink Bug is a large insect that can grow to be the size of an adult's thumbnail. The body of the insect is shaped like a classic shield. They are bright green, full-bodied, plump, slow-moving, and abundant in the South and far into Central America. It is a major pest to soybean farmers because they ruin their produce. Cotton plants are also susceptible to the insect's appetite.

True to its name, the Southern Green Stink Bug emits a noxious smelling chemical from its body if it feels threatened. The odor is foul enough to turn away almost every predator. While this non-native insect's usual habitat is on short weedy plants, it is commonly seen on buildings and homes along door frames and high on walls. It is considered a nuisance when it makes its way indoors. Crushing one releases the odorous chemical inside the room, so the catch-and-release method or toilet flush method should be employed to remove one from the premises.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Pentatomidae
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          Genus: Nezara
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            Species: viridula
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Nezara viridula
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 14mm to 17mm (0.55" to 0.66")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, black
Descriptors: speckled, large, slow

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 14mm (0.6in) and 17mm (0.7in)
Lo: 14mm
Md: 15.5mm
Hi: 17mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Southern 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 Southern Green Stink Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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