This insect is commonly called either a green stink bug or green shield bug—depending I suppose on whether you would rather to refer to its shape or to the stinky liquid it secretes from glands on the underside of its thorax. Likewise, its scientific name is either Acrosternum hilare or Chinavia hilaris, depending on what reference you use.
I found this little beast when I was wandering around on Deas Island back in August. These insects are pretty, slow moving and inoffensive (unless you are a plant). The only real challenge to photographing them is getting the right angle of view. Because of their shape it makes sense to photograph them from above for a typical identification photo. But that makes for a bit of a boring picture. They have interesting faces, but typically they have their antennae sticking out in front enough that if you focus on the eyes you can’t get the antennae in focus. The photo above is something of a compromise—shot low enough to capture the bug’s face, but high enough to get the antennae in focus too.
The picture below is the same image but cropped in tight on the face to highlight the beautiful texture of its exoskeleton. Cool isn’t it?
The last photo of this series (below) is from a lower angle still. It isn’t the greatest image—only the closest eye and one antenna are in focus. But I am showing this picture because of the odd condition of its mouthparts. Normally these bugs have stiff needle-like mouthparts that they use to stab into plants and suck up juices. But this specimen seems to have a number of thread-like things dangling from its mouth. I assume that its mouth has been damaged somehow, but I really don’t know what was going on there. If any of you have an idea, please leave a comment…I’d love to hear!
The technical stuff:
Camera: Olympus E-620 digital SLR
Lens: Zuiko 35mm macro
Settings: manual exposure (F16 @ 1/60 sec)
Lighting: Olympus RF-11 ring flash (1/2 power)