Green jewel bug

A bright green spot flew in front of me and landed on a tree which gives a characteristic redolence to this time of transition between sharad and hemant, the night-blooming jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, parijat in Hindi and Odia, shiuli in Bengali, xewali in Assamese). When it landed I could see that the shiny green spot was a green jewel bug (Chrysocoris stollii, aka the lychee shield bug). I haven’t identified any of the other 450 jewel bugs, so I can’t be certain. But this had characteristic markings, and the colour, of what I was told was the C. stollii.

Of course one can do better these days, I realized as soon as I wrote that sentence. A little search with the help of google mamu told me quickly that the markings on the back were not of the C. pulchellus or C. patricius. I’m glad I did that check, because I found that in 2017 I’d posted misidentified photos; those smaller bugs were probably C. patricius. I’m also pretty certain now that this is not the C. purpureus, since that should be purple, as its name suggests. Could it be the C. hahn? The pictures I came across are confused, and I can’t figure out whether this is different. But let me go with C. stollii, for now, especially since it is supposed to be the most abundant of jewel bugs in India.

So what do I know about it? It is a bug, not a beetle, although the green shield could mislead you. If you look carefully, you’ll see that there is no mid-line parting on its shield; a beetle will have a divided back. You can also try to distinguish them by counting the number of segments on legs and antennae. Since it drinks sap from plants, it is considered a pest. My fund of knowledge runs out pretty fast. I must look for more bugs, this is a season for insects anyway.

Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

9 thoughts on “Green jewel bug”

  1. I saw a beautiful bug like this some days back, so it’s called a jewel bug! Didn’t know the differentiation between bugs and beetles, have been posting many pictures in insta as beetles, need to double check 🙂 we had a beetle we frequently saw around our school, we called it golden because of the shiny golden colour.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Just checked google, I believe these are called the Golden tortoise beetle (aspidimorpha sanctaecrucis). Very beautiful beetles, I think they are endangered … there used to be so many of them everywhere when we were kids.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Much likely! When I searched Google many suggestions thrown up were stuff like “golden beetle price”, ‘golden beetle sale” and all that.

        And if one school of children could denude the bushes around the school of those beetles, it’s horrifying to imagine what organized trade can do!

        Liked by 1 person

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