So, continuing with the theme of insects, the winner of today’s challenge is probably a green stink bug nymph. The reason why I’m saying probable stink bug—I didn’t threaten it, so it didn’t release it’s unpleasant odor.
I’d notice this guy crawling along the edge of the patio table, and decided to try to get some pictures of it—if nothing else to prove that I don’t sit inside all day during the summer. While I knew it was a true bug (based on it’s shape), I wasn’t sure of the species—so turning to google, the closest insect seems to be a green stink bug.
I’d assume that this is a stink bug in it’s third (possibly fourth) nymph stage–it was fairly large, but I didn’t see any wings on it yet, so it isn’t in the fifth (and final) nymph stage yet.
This makes sense, since we have a small peach shrub/tree that gives fruit—but the fruit never fully ripen. I’m wondering if these guys could be part of the reason why the fruits only develop so far. These insects like others go through a incomplete metamorphosis—where they have five instar (or nymph) stages before becoming adults; and each instar stage looks a little more like the adult. The full life cycle is usually around thirty to forty-five days (so about six weeks or so).
They are a pest of crops, fruit trees, and other plants. They feed on the sap of the plants—so they have needle-like mouths for pierce the stems/fruits of the plants. The young nymphs can winter in the leaves and emerge in spring/summer when the temperatures are warmer to complete their lifecycle.
So again—giving space to another living creature allowed me to get some good photographs, and also ensured that I wasn’t going to be smelling an obnoxious odor (that if it was a stink bug it would have released if it felt threatened).
One thing I may try to do—be outdoors more and look for more than just flowers, birds, or animals to take pictures of–look for the smaller things, try to find the young nymphs of insects (or even the eggs). Looking for the small things may be even more rewarding than finding the big things.