stink bug

Green stink bug

The green stink bug or green soldier bug (Acrosternum hilare) is a stink bug belonging to the family Pentatomidae.

Synonyms : Chinavia hilare, Chinavia hilaris, Nezara hilaris, Acrosternum hilaris, Pentatoma hilaris

According to Dr. David Rider of North Dakota State University the generic name is wrong. The genus name Acrosternum should be restricted to a handful of Old World, small, pale green species that live in dry arid areas. The larger, brighter green species that live in both the Old and New Worlds should actually go by the generic name Chinavia, therefore this species should be called Chinavia hilaris.


It is found in orchards, gardens, woodlands and crop fields throughout North America, feeding with their needle-like mouthparts on the juices of a wide variety of plants from May until the arrival of frost. Adults develop a preference for developing seeds and thus become crop pests (tomato, bean, pea, cotton, corn, soybean, eggplant). When no seeds are present, they also feed on stems and foliage, thus damaging several fruit trees, such as the apple, cherry, orange and peach trees.


Its color is typically bright green, with narrow yellow, orange, or reddish edges.

It is a large, shield-shaped bug with an elongate, oval form and a length between 13-18 mm. It can be differentiated from the species Nezara by its black outermost three antennal segments. Its anterolateral (= in front and away from the middle) pronotal margin is rather straight and not strongly arced such as in Acrosternum pennsylvanicum

Both adults and nymphs have large stink glands on the underside of the thorax extending more than half-way to the edge of the metapleuron. They discharge large amounts of this foul-smelling liquid when disturbed.


They attach their keg-shaped eggs on the underside of foliage in double rows of twelve eggs or more. The green stink bug produces one generation in the North and two generations in the South. The early instar nymphs are rather brightly colored and striped, turning green when approaching adulthood.

Pest management

It is parasitized by the tachinid fly Trichopodes pennipes . The green stink bug uses the pheromone methyl (E,Z,Z)-2,4,6-decatrienoate in its communication system and this may be used to attract the bug away from crop fields

See also



  • Lorus and Margery Milne : National Audubon Society : Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders; Alfred A. Knopf, New York, fourteenth printing, 1996; ISBN 0394507630
  • Species Acrosternum hilare
  • McPherson, J.E. The Pentatomoidea (Hemiptera) of Northeastern North America. Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0809310406.

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