Top Photo: Common green stink bug.
I came across a green stink bug while walking on a service road here at the museum. Though it’s November, the temps were in the mid 70s, twenty degrees warmer than it is today.
The insect was making its way up two bundles of loblolly pine needles which had fallen and lodged themselves on a small bare vine.
There are at least two green stink bugs you can encounter here on the Carolina Piedmont, common green stink bug (Chinavia hilaris) and southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula). The differences between the two are subtle: antennal color, spots on scutellum or back, color of spots on sides of abdomen, and shape of pronotum margins. The characteristics visible indicate this stink bug, the one pictured, is a common green stink bug (C hilaris).
After viewing the photos I had taken of the stink bug, I checked my photo library to see if I had more images of this insect or any other green stink bugs. What surfaced is a photo of what I’m fairly certain is a nymph of common green stink bug.
The bug pictured is a fifth instar nymph, which is the last part of the nymphal stage before becoming a full adult stink bug. Stink bugs go through incomplete metamorphosis which involves three stages including egg, nymph, and adult. They may molt four times during their nymphal stage.
Stink bugs are named for the musky odor emitted when disturbed or threatened but are sometimes called shield bugs because of the adult’s shield-like shape.