After dragons origami insects might just be my next favourite thing. There really aren’t any other types of models that have the same level of complexity and details while looking so much like the real-life versions.

You can really tell that a lot of work has gone into these designs and probably a ton of research into different insect species as well.

First up is this fantastic Praying Mantis. This particular one has quite a great little face.

Praying Mantis
https://www.flickr.com/photos/edg82/10969186916/

Praying Mantis, Designed by Sebastian Arellano and Folded by Edgar

Diagrams available in Origami Masters Bugs

 

Beetles are a super popular type of insect to fold and there’s ton of amazing designs. This species is called Cheirotonus jansoni. P. Colman painted the model afterwards using a mix of hydrus watercolor and metallic calligraphy ink and finished everything with a copic airbrush.

The model was also modified slightly here to be more like the real-life version with extra hooks on the feet and antennas.

Cheirotonus jansoni
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pcolman/27376273216/

Cheirotonus jansoni, Designed by Folder951 and Folded by P. Colman

Crease pattern available here

 

Here are two more fantastic beetles fighting each other out in the wild.

Beetle Fight
https://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipcurl/15311847500/

Dorcus curvidens Designed by Brian Chan and Cyclommatus metallifer Designed by Satoshi Kamiya, Both Folded by Phillip Curl

Cyclommatus metallifer diagrams available in Works of Satoshi Kamiya 2, 2002 – 2009

Dorcus curvidens diagrams available in the 2010 Peru Convention book

 

Satoshi Kamiya also designed this great little dragonfly.

Dragonfly
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origami-artist-galen/31035579070/

Dragonfly, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Shuki Kato

Crease Pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami

 

Here’s another absolutely incredible looking beetle and it’s folded from a single square of 35cm x 35cm paper!

Kabutomushi
https://www.flickr.com/photos/56997154@N06/31409422001/

Kabutomushi 3.6, Designed by Kota Imai and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Crease pattern available from Kota Imai’s Flickr

 

This is another amazing beetle and I absolutely love how the colours and design look exactly like this beetle does in real life.

Hercules Beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53909836@N02/43503780145/

Hercules Beetle, Designed by Robert J. Lang and Folded by David Dávalos

Diagrams available in Origami Insects 2

 

Here’s another incredible praying mantis model. Look at how many layers of paper you can see folded up into each other! This can’t be easy to fold.

Mantis Boxer
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145808411@N05/30368120481/

Mantis Boxer, Designed by Manuel Sirgo and Folded by Vít Masopust

Diagrams available in License to Fold

 

We’re going to look at a ton of incredible origami beetles in this post because they’re all so impressive. Here’s another beautiful design from Satoshi Kamiya. This is folded from a single 40cm x 40cm square of paper.

Lucanus maculifemoratus
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126764164@N04/41477324315/

Lucanus maculifemoratus, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Kim Ju Hyun

Diagrams available in the 22nd Tanteidan Convention book

 

I love the colours in this next beetle. This is all one square of paper again and if you use two sided paper like you see here you get that excellent different coloured back.

Lily Beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/damianmalickiorigami/33663114315/

Lily Beetle, Designed and Folded by Damian Malicki

Instructions not available

 

Here’s an incredible looking wasp and if you look closely again you can see all the many layers of paper folded up inside.

Paper Wasp
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origami_mhg/30798317746/

Vespa Mandarina, Designed and Folded by Maeng Heung Gue

Instructions not available

 

This is one of those leaf insects that camouflages itself as a leaf. It looks really great folded out of paper here.

Leaf Insect
https://www.flickr.com/photos/guillermo_rodriguez/31602539975/

Leaf Insect, Designed by Daniel Robinson and Folded by Guillermo R. Parrondo

Diagrams available in Origami Masters Bugs

 

The plates on the back of this pillbug look really cool folded out of paper.

Pillbug
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ferorigami/7813795666/

Pillbug, Designed by Jordan Langerak and Folded by Fernando Castellanos

Crease pattern available from Jordan Langerak’s Flickr

 

Here’s another really excellent beetle design that has a great bright colour change on the back.

Yellow and Black Beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/113917524@N02/25568766592/

Designed and Folded by Michael Lau

Instructions not available

 

Shuki Kato’s flying Kabutomushi is definitely one of the most impressive insect designs I’ve ever seen. This whole thing is folded from a single square of paper too!

Flying Kabutomushi
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marianozavala-origami/8375376506/

Flying Kabutomushi, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Video instructions available from Mariano Zavala B.’s YouTube channel

 

This next model is something a bit different. It uses an extra long sheet of paper and a tessellation pattern to make a quite impressive centipede.

Scolopendra
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiru/11665506853/

Scolopendra, Designed and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Instructions not available

 

Here’s something a bit different and unique from Sebastien Limet. The stem, flower and insect are all folded from the same square of paper.

Slyness
https://www.flickr.com/photos/-sebl-/28865586970/

Slyness, Designed and Folded by Sebastien Limet

Instructions not available

 

From a distance you could totally mistake this next beetle for a real-life version.

Darwin Beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pere-olivella/29301382446/

Darwin Beetle, Designed by Manuel Sirgo and Folded by Pere Olivella

Diagrams available in the 22nd Tanteidan Convention book

 

Here’s another absolutely beautiful beetle folded and then painted by P. Colman. The real beetle is that colourful and shiny in real life too.

Jewel Click Beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pcolman/29073637071/

Jewel Click Beetle, Designed by Đỗ Anh Tú and Folded by P. Colman

Crease pattern available from Bill Ori’s Flickr

 

There’s such a huge amount of diversity with all these beetle designs. This one has a completely different shape.

Okinawa Stag Beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145614922@N07/29815703510/

Neolucanus okinawanus, Designed and Folded by Kei Watanabe

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another spectacular design by Kota Imai. The most impressive thing about these designs is that the bottom is folded perfectly too. You could easily design an amazing looking beetle and leave the bottom a mess since you’re not going to see it. Pretty much all of Kota Imai’s designs though look incredible no matter what angle you’re looking at.

Dorcus hopei binodulosus
https://www.flickr.com/photos/119910244@N05/17365070276/

Dorcus Hopei Binodulosus, Designed and Folded by Kota Imai

Crease pattern available from Kota Imai’s Flickr

 

Here’s another really fantastic wasp.

Wasp
https://www.flickr.com/photos/128874294@N04/26756230470/

Wasp, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by J.W Park

Crease Pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami

 

This is one of those insects that disguises itself as sticks. It’s another perfect insect to fold out of paper and this is a really great design.

Giant Spiny Stick Insect
https://www.flickr.com/photos/28704124@N03/30212796792/

Giant Spiny Stick Insect, Designed and Folded by Daniel Robinson

Instructions not available

 

Here we have what’s probably the most beautiful looking dragonfly I’ve ever seen. The paper used here is gorgeous too.

Dragonfly
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145614922@N07/30110536935/

Matrona Basilaris Japonica, Designed and Folded by Kei Watanabe

Instructions not available

 

This is another awesome type of insect that camouflages itself as a leaf.

Leaf Katydid
https://www.flickr.com/photos/88820526n06/10621415944/

Leaf Katydid, Designed by Brian Chan and Folded by 林月劍雲

Diagrams available in the 12th Tanteidan Convention book

 

Here’s another incredible beetle design with amazing and complicated details from every angle.

Lucanus cervus judaicus
https://www.flickr.com/photos/133610529@N05/36611706185/

Lucanus Cervus Judaicus v2.1, Designed by Kota Imai and Folded by Nguyenngoc Thanh

Instructions not available

 

The last model for this post is one more incredible beetle. This is a Yanbaru long-armed scarab beetle and you could easily mistake this for the real thing from a distance. Like pretty much all of Kei Watanabe’s designs I have no idea how someone could create something like this.

Yanbaru long-armed scarab beetle
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145614922@N07/29815703220/

Yanbaru Long-Armed Scarab Beetle, Designed and Folded by Kei Watanabe

Instructions not available

 

That’s it for this post, let us know in the comments which one of these models is your favourite. If you want to see more amazing origami insects check out some of the posts below.