Last Updated: August 9, 2016

Origami insects are some of the most fascinating origami models there are. I don’t know what it is about origami insects that make them so realistic looking but no other kind of origami creature looks anywhere near as real as some of these insects do.

Because there’s such a huge variety of insects there’s also a huge variety of origami insects as well and many of them are very impressive looking.

Our first model is Kaede Nakamura’s Cyclommatus metallifer which is a species of beetle.

Cycolmmatus Metallifer

Cyclommatus metallifer, Designed and Folded by Kaede Nakamura

Instructions not available


Here’s a beautiful origami butterfly folded by Damian Malicki Origami.


Butterfly, Designed by Nguyen Hung Cuong and Folded by Damian Malicki Origami

Diagrams available in #7 VOG 2:


This is an origami version of a leaf insect which is an insect that looks just like a leaf and can camouflage itself very well near leaves.

Leaf Insect

Leaf Insect, Designed by Kota Imai and Folded by P. Colman

Crease pattern available from Kota Imai’s Flickr


Satoshi Kamiya has designed an incredible origami praying mantis which is folded here by Alex Mironenko.

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Alex Mironenko

Diagrams available in Origami Tanteidan 20th Convention Book


Spiders aren’t technically insects but I’m going to count them here anyways so here’s an amazing origami tarantula.

Origami Tarantula

Tarantula, Designed by Robert J. Lang and Folded by Matthieu Georger

Video instructions available from Jo Nakashima’s YouTube channel

Follow Matthieu Georger on Flickr


There are lots and lots of origami beetles and many of them look exactly like they do in real life. This one is a Lucanus Swinhoei which is a type of beetle native to Taiwan.

Black Beetle

Lucanus Swinhoei, Designed by Pavel Nikulshin and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Instructions not available


Here’s another species of origami beetle, it’s a Salt Creek Tiger Beetle which is an endangered beetle native to the wetlands in Nabraska.

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, Designed by Robert J. Lang and Folded by Thamar van Dijk

Video instructions available from OrigamiSage’s YouTube channel


This next one is a Longhorn Beetle which is a type of beetle famous for having very long horn-like antennae.

Longhorn Beetle

Longhorn Beetle, Designed by Brian Chan and Folded by Han-Sheng Yang

Crease pattern available from blue paper’s Flickr


This flying Kabutomushi might be my favourite origami insect. A Kabutomushi is a Japanese Rhinoceros beetle. This model is designed by Satoshi Kamiya and depicts the beetle in flight with its wings out. The entire model is folded from one sheet of paper!


Flying Kabutomushi, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Ivan Svatko

Diagrams available in the 21st Origami Tanteidan Convention


This adorable little insect that’s hiding behind a leaf is folded from one sheet of paper, that includes both the insect and the leaf.

Hidden Insect

Hidden, Designed by Sebastien Limet and Folded by João Charrua

Instructions not available


Here’s another very realistic looking origami beetle. This one is an Elephant Beetle and it’s designed by Shuki Kato.

Elephant Beetle

Elephant Beetle, Designed and Folded by Shuki Kato

Instructions not available


Here’s a different walking stick leaf insect this time designed by Manuel Sirgo.

Stick Leaf

Walking Stick Leaf, Designed by Manuel Sirgo and Folded by Adriano Davanzo

Instructions not available


Next is another beetle, this time it’s a scarab beetle designed and folded by Paulius Mielinis.

Scarab Beetle

Scarab Beetle, Designed and Folded by Paulius Mielinis

Crease pattern available from Paulius Mielinis’s Flickr


This is a very unique looking insect called an orchid praying mantis. I actually didn’t realize these were a real species until now. They’re from the rain forests of South East Asia and are usually found camouflaged on orchid flowers.

Orchid Praying Mantis

Orchid Praying Mantis, Designed and Folded by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Instructions not available


Andrey Ermakov designed this incredible Onychophora which is a type of velvet worm found in the tropics.


Onychophora op. 80#2, Deisgned and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Instructions not available


Satoshi Kamiya has also designed an awesome Cyclommatus metallifer.

Cyclommatus Metallifer

Cyclommatus metallifer, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by P. Colman

Diagrams available in Works of Satoshi Kamiya 2, 2002 – 2009


Satoshi Kamiya also designed a very realistic looking wasp.


Wasp, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Crease Pattern available in World of Super Complex Origami


This next model is an incredible design with a snake wrapped around the tail of a scorpion. The entire model is folded from one sheet of paper and if you use two sided paper you end up with a different colour for the scorpion and the snake plus the snake’s tongue is the same colour of the scorpion which is amazing.

Scorpion Snake

Scorpio-Snake, Designed by Nguyễn Hùng Cường

Instructions not available


There are also some great origami dragonflies like this one by Brian Chan.


Dragonfly, Designed by Brian Chan and Folded by Malleon

Instructions not available


This is just a regular origami scorpion but it’s still a fantastic design.


Scorpion, Designed by Patricia Crawford and Folded by Luc MARNAT

Diagrams available in Creating Origami


This very impressive Camel Cricket was designed by Kota Imai.

Camel Cricket

Camel Cricket, Designed and Folded by Kota Imai

Instructions not available


The colouring added to this origami beetle makes it look almost exactly like the real thing.

Yellow Beetle

Dicranocephalus walichii, Designed by Qiegao and Folded by P. Colman

Crease pattern available here


This next image is a great collection of five different origami snails each one designed by a different designer. Each one of these is folded from one sheet of paper and makes excellent use of double sided paper for a different coloured snail and shell.

6 Snails

Snails Designed by: Shiri Daniel, Nguyen Hung Cuong, Manuel Sirgo Álvarez, Derek McGann, Hideo Komatsu and all Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Video instructions for Shiri Daniel’s snail are available from Happy Folding on YouTube

Diagrams for Nguyen Hung Cuong’s snail are available in Origami Tanteidan 16th Convention Book

Instructions for Manuel Sirgo Álvarez’s snail are not available

Diagrams for Derek McGann’s snail are available from Derek McGann’s website

Diagrams for Hideo Komatsu’s snail are available in Origami Tanteidan 19th Convention Book


Our final origami insect for this post is this incredible praying mantis designed by Tran Trung Hieu.

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis, Designed and Folded by Tran Trung Hieu

Instructions not available

Follow Tran Trung Hieu on Flickr or Facebook


Which one of these origami insects do you think is the most impressive? Let us know in the comments and remember if you enjoy posts like this consider supporting us on our Patreon!

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