The southern green stink bug is often called the green soldier bug. This species is found throughout North America, down through Central America and into South America. In the U. S., it is most prevalent along the Gulf Coast and in the Southeast.
These stink bugs are about ½ inch long. They are broad, flattened and somewhat shield-shaped. The adults are solid green.
Females lay their eggs in batches on the under side if leaves of the plants. The eggs are keg shaped and soon turn orange due to the developing nymphs. The nymphs are bright orange when they hatch but soon turn black. The older nymphs are greenish and look much like the adults except they are wingless. The nymphs are gregarious and tend to stay in groups. They complete a life cycle in about 35 days and they may complete as many as five generations in a year.
Nymphs and Adult
The southern green stink bug has needle-like mouth parts. These bugs feed mainly on fruit but they will also feed on leaves. They damage plants by piercing plant tissue and sucking out the juice. Their saliva contains a toxin and damaged fruit become deformed or have hard yellowish spots in it.
These bugs have scent glands on the sides of their body and if they are handled or disturbed they will emit a foul smelling odor.
This pest can cause serious damage to tomatoes, pepper, okra, beans and peas. They also feed on and damage many ornamental plants.