Southern Green Shield Bug

Nezara viridula

Although the Southern Green Shield Bug lives in my garden for many years, I have not yet succeeded in photographing adult animals. Which are called imagos in zoological terminology.

The insect, also known as Southern Green Stink Bug or Green Vegetable Bug, is present worldwide in temperate to tropical regions. Its actual origin is believed to be Ethiopia (source).

Southern Green Shield bug

The Southern Green Shield Bug is not always green. Adult bugs can be green in colour, as seen here. In some regions, a red form can be found. In addition, adults change colour before overwintering.

Green Shield Bug on Runner Bean
Nymph of the Southern Green Shield Bug in the third larval stage on the pod of a Runner Bean.

Nezara viridula is not only variable in appearance, but also extremely flexible in its diet. If it were restricted to rice plants*, it could not survive in Central and Northern Europe.

In my garden it can be found on Black Nightshade. It also likes to suck on the fruits and stems of bean plants.

Green Shield Bug on Black Nightshade
Green Shield Bug on Black Nightshade.

When it occurs en masse, it is said to be able to cause considerable damage to vegetable plants. Fortunately, it does not do this in my garden, so we can coexist peacefully.

Green Shield Bugs

Until they become adults, the nymphs (larvae) go through five stages in which they are differently coloured.

* Here in Germany Nezara viridula is commonly known as Green Rice Bug.

Southern Green Shield Bug

Categories: Beetles, Bugs & Cockroaches | Insects