Although the Southern Green Shield Bug lives in my garden for many years, I have not yet succeeded in photographing adult animals. Which are called imagos in zoological terminology.
The insect, also known as Southern Green Stink Bug or Green Vegetable Bug, is present worldwide in temperate to tropical regions. Its actual origin is believed to be Ethiopia (source).
The Southern Green Shield Bug is not always green. Adult bugs can be green in colour, as seen here. In some regions, a red form can be found. In addition, adults change colour before overwintering.
Nezara viridula is not only variable in appearance, but also extremely flexible in its diet. If it were restricted to rice plants*, it could not survive in Central and Northern Europe.
In my garden it can be found on Black Nightshade. It also likes to suck on the fruits and stems of bean plants.
When it occurs en masse, it is said to be able to cause considerable damage to vegetable plants. Fortunately, it does not do this in my garden, so we can coexist peacefully.
Until they become adults, the nymphs (larvae) go through five stages in which they are differently coloured.
* Here in Germany Nezara viridula is commonly known as Green Rice Bug.