Nezara viridula

Nezara viridula (Linnaeus)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Pentatomidae.

Common name: Southern green stink bug.

Geographical distribution: A pest of cosmopolitan distribution, occurring in most temperate and tropical countries. CIE Map #27 (revised), 1998.

Host plants: Highly polyphagous.

Morphology: The green-yellowish adult is shield-shaped, with piercing and sucking mouthparts and a five-segmented antenna. The first three nymphal instars are yellow-brown to brown, with white or black markings, while the last two instars may exhibit two phases, being either green with black markings or black with yellow markings.

Life cycle: About 100 barrel-shaped eggs/female are deposited in 5-8 clustered rows on the underside of leaves. Young nymphs emerge within a week and aggregate on the egg-mass for about 2 day. They feed on a female-derived nutrient solution, which had been secreted into the spaces between adjacent egg cases after oviposition. They remain together to the fourth instar. When disturbed, they emit a malodorous defensive scent from ventral glands (thus “stink bugs”). Adults are active fliers that can survive for a month in the summer and overwinter for several months, in diapause. As temperatures rise in the spring the bugs become reproductive within 1-2 weeks. In Israel, 3 generations occur annually.

Economic importance: Feeding on flower buds causes premature abscission, and damage to seed pods. The bug attacks many important major horticultural, vegetable and field crops, with a preference for legumes and crucifers. Nut crops (e.g., Pistacio nuts in the Middle East) are susceptible hosts. In Turkey, N. viridula moves from wheat fields to the next crop of maize (corn), deforming the shoot apex. It feeds on lentil in Syria, but does not require control measures, and has also been recorded on citrus in Egypt.


Monitoring: Freqiuent examination of weeds within and around the crops and by utilizing trap-borders of preferred hosts.

Chemical control: When necessary, the eggs of the pest may be killed with pyrethroids or organophpsphates. These pesticides may however interfere with the activities of the natural enemies.

Biological control: The pest may be controlled by its 50 or more recorded parasitoids, which mainly attack the eggs, and/or by predators.


Attiah, H.H., Isa, A.L. and Rofail, F. 1974. An outbreak of Nezara viridula on citrus trees in Egypt. Agricultural Research Review 52: 81.

Brown, S.A., Davis, J.A. and Richter, A.P. 2012. Efficacy of foliar insecticides on eggs of Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Florida Entomologist 95: 1182-1186.

Hill, D. S. 1983. Agricultural Insect Pests of the Tropics and Their Control, 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press.

Jones, W.A. 1988. World review of the parasitoids of the southern green stink bug Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 81: 262-273.

Todd, J.W. 1989. Ecology and behavior of Nezara viridula. Annual Review of Entomology 34: 273-292.

van den Berg, H., Bagus, A., Hassan, K., Muhammad, A. and Zega, S. 1995. Predation and parasitism on eggs of two pod-sucking bugs, Nezara viridula and Piezodorus hybneri, in soybean. International Journal of Pest Management 41: 134-142.