Why is My Praying Mantis Yellow?

Praying mantis appear in various colors, from pale to darker shades of green, brown, and yellow. Some colors are natural, while others appear temporarily as a survival strategy. You can relate their pale body color to some internal or external disturbances affecting their lifestyle.

Why is My Praying Mantis Yellow? A praying mantis can be yellow due to sickness, external stress, and camouflaging behavior, or it can be preparing to molt. However, they also appear yellow naturally, as a few species have entirely yellow bodies or some stripes or spots on their legs, wings, and underside of the body. This color does not make them poisonous because they lack venom or toxic chemicals.

Yellowing of praying mantis bodies indicates some problems with these insects as they naturally appear green. This physical change helps us understand stress-related issues in these insects.

Why is my praying mantis turning yellow?

Turning yellow or brown is common among praying mantis, as they change color to tell about the changes in their environment. It is a signal of distress or undesirable change in their habitat.

Some other reasons are also associated with changes in the body color from green to yellow, as it can occur due to illness, molting stress, external pressure of predators or environment, etc.

Camouflaging behavior

One of the potential reasons for a praying mantis to change body color and turn yellow is their camouflaging behavior. They appear pale in color if their background environment is transparent.

They exhibit such coloration if they want to hide behind the floral blooms of yellowish orchids, lilies, tulips, and roses.

They have to change color to blend with the background environment, so they try to appear pale or yellowish for efficient camouflaging.

It is not a permanent change as they retain their original green or pink color after leaving such habitat. They also return to their normal body color when the predators disappear.


The change in body color can occur due to sickness in praying mantis. They cannot express emotions by speaking or communicating with their owners.

Accordingly, they show distress through behavioral and physical changes when getting disturbed due to illness. They begin to appear yellowish if some pathogenic organisms attack their body.

This variation in color ranges from pale to bright depending on stressors and biological agents responsible for sickness. It can relate to a diseased condition when their bodies lack fluids.

Sometimes, their body temperature changes significantly when they are not feeling well after an attack by a pathogen. You can get an idea about health disturbances after seeing a color change.

It is true because one of my friends told me his pet mantis turned yellow when infected with a bacterial pathogen.

Preparing to molt

It appears pale or turns yellow before or during molting as it stresses the body. It occurs when they are preparing to molt but is not commonly related to it.

I never found my mantis turning yellow before molting, but my neighbors told me their pet mantis turned pale yellow before shedding exoskeleton.

Therefore, it varies among different species of praying mantis, as a few turn yellowish after shedding the outer covering. Their soft bodies are pale in color and are visible until a new shell develops.

Accordingly, the young nymphs turn yellow during molting stages and undergo such temporary changes for almost 7 to 9 times in their lifespan.

External stress

Turning yellow can be a stress-induced change in mantis when threatened or feeling stressed due to predators or environmental changes.

Some common behavioral changes due to external stress include the spreading of wings and changes in posture, but sometimes, it can lead to a physical change.

It can turn brown or pink due to external stress, but my pet turns yellowish when it is uncomfortable in its cage.

Can a praying mantis be yellow?

Praying mantis can change color from green to yellow, but a few of their species naturally appear pale. They have yellowish bodies or some hues of this color on body parts.

You can see this color in a Chinese mantis by observing their tiny bodies closely as they have some yellow-colored stripes.

Sometimes, they appear yellowish brown in the first 2 body segments. My neighbor has a Chinese mantis as a pet, and I saw such colored stripes on the mantis’s body when I visited their place.

These strips are usually present on the wing edges of Chinese mantis and can only be observed by seeing them closely. However, it is better to be careful while seeing them from a close distance.

In addition, the golden giant Asian mantis also appears in yellow or other pale colors, like beige and green. They also appear yellowish-green in color depending on the genetic makeup.

In the same way, the orchid mantis has pale pink legs and wings and a yellow color on the legs.

It can change color when there is a need to camouflage from predators by hiding behind orchids. They can easily blend with the bright orchid flowers by changing color.

In addition, the European mantis, Carolina mantis, and a few other species display a yellow color with some variations in the intensity and spread of this color.

The extent of coloration varies depending on the reasons for such coloration, as some hues appear on their body naturally. However, they change color entirely when camouflaging behind flowers.

Are yellow praying mantis poisonous?

Some people relate the yellow color with the poisonous nature of praying mantis, but it is not true. This bright color does not ensure toxicity of the organism but is related to stress or camouflage.

The yellow praying mantis are not poisonous because they lack venom in their body. They do not have poison glands and stingers to inject poison into bodies of threatening organisms.

Moreover, they are not considered toxic or venomous, so there is no threat to humans. It is better to be careful of their bites because they have strong mandibles to tear the prey’s bodies.

They pose no harm to humans in terms of toxicity because they do not have toxic chemicals inside their bodies. They are only deadly for prey due to their raptorial legs and powerful teeth.

They are poisonous to humans, so you do not have to worry about their body color, whether it appears yellow, green, or pink.

My mantis is green in color naturally but turns yellow when not feeling physically well. It is not venomous and causes no toxicity after a bite, so it is safe to handle.

In addition, they can bite you hard and break the upper skin layer, but this is not followed by injecting poisonous material into the affected area.

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