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Larva - Southern green stink bug - Nezara viridula
Larva - Southern green stink bug - Nezara viridula

Southern green stink bug
The southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula) is a species in the order bugs (Hemiptera), the suborder true bugs (Heteroptera), the infraorder Pentatomomorpha, the superfamily Pentatomoidea, the family stink bugs (Pentatomidae), the subfamily Pentatominae, and the genus Nezara. The southern green stink bug probably originated in Ethiopia, but is now widespread in America, Europe, Africa and Asia. It occurs most frequently in the Mediterranean. These species can produce 3 new generations a year under favourable climatic conditions.
Nezara viridula -  larva - fourth instar
Nezara viridula - larva - fourth instar
Adult Nezara viridula reach body lengths of 12 - 16 mm. Their bodies are egg or shield shaped and dull green in colour. The upper surface of their bodies has individual or converging little pits, often with a whitish rim. The head and antennae are dull green. The antennae are divided into 5 segments. The eyes can be red or black in colour.
Nezara viridula - nymph
Nezara viridula - nymph
There is a single defensive gland on the underside of the posterior segment of the chest (metathorax) which can release a very unpleasant-smelling secretion. There are 3 to 5-yellowish-white granules at the front edges of the scutellum. The abdomen is almost completely covered by the transparent hind wings, and in some specimens there are several black spots on the sides of the abdomen, which run lengthwise.
Southern green stink bug - larva
Southern green stink bug - larva
Due to their physical characteristics, the southern green stink bug can be confused with the green shield bug (Palomena prasina). The latter is about 1 mm smaller and has no clear grainy boundary at the front edges of the scutellum. A key identifying characteristic for both species is the shape of the orifice of the defensive gland outlet. In the southern green stink bug it is short and wide, and in the green shield bug it is elongated and oval.
The southern green stink bug has a life expectancy of 65 to 70 days and is especially common in the months from October to December and from March to April. It feeds on the juices of various plants, including aubergine (Solanum melongena), cucumber (Cucumis) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and can cause substantial damage to vegetable cultivation.
The natural enemies of southern green stink bugs includes the tachinid fly - Trichopoda pennipes - as well as the parasitic wasp - Trissolcus basalis. These insects deposit their eggs on the southern green stink bug and their larvae parasitise it.
The mating season for southern green stink bugs extends from spring through to late autumn. The fertilized females lay their eggs on the leaves of different plants such as Crotalaria, wild blackberry (Rubus) and Cyperus rotundus. They glue about 260 barrel-shaped, whitish-yellow eggs to the surface of the leaves, in groups of 30 - 130. The eggs are about 1. 1 mm in length and 0. 9 mm in width and turn pink over time.
The larvae (nymphs) of the southern green stink bug hatch after 5 days in summer, or after 2 to 3 weeks in spring. They develop from egg to adult bug within 35 days. They have colourful bodies. Their markings and shape changes after each moult. In the first larval stage (which lasts 3 days), they remain sitting in groups next to their empty eggs without eating. In this way the tiny larvae can combine the power of their defense secretions and thus ward off their predators (ants, etc) much more efficiently.
The eyes of the larvae are red. Their antennae and legs are transparent, while the rest of the body is yellowish. From the beginning of the 2nd larval stage on (5 days) the nymphs start eating. The head, thorax, antennae and legs are now black. There is a yellow patch on each outer side of the upper surface of the chest. The abdomen is red, as are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th segments of the antennae. In the 3rd and 4th larval stages (7 days), the body shape changes and shades of green start to predominate in the colouration. In the 5th stage (8 days) the wings begin to grow. The abdomen is yellowish green now and has red spots on its axis in the middle. During the 8th day the final moult occurs and the adult bug emerges. After another 4 weeks, the southern green stink bug is sexually mature. The last generation a year, overwinter as adult bugs.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Larva - Southern green stink bug - Nezara viridula
2. Nezara viridula - larva - fourth instar
3. Nezara viridula - nymph
4. Southern green stink bug - larva
Sources, links and more informations
Southern green stink bug in Wikipedia
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