|Live insect jewellry refers to jewellry, made from living creatures - usually bejewelled oversized insects- which is worn as a fashion accessory. The use of insects as live jewellry has existed for many centuries, with the Egyptians believed to have been the first to have worn insects as jewelry.|
Ancient Egyptian soldiers commonly wore scarab beetles into battle as the beetles were considered to have supernatural powers of protection against enemies.
|In 2010 U.S. customs officers stopped a woman on her way into the country because she was wearing a jewel-encrusted beetle as a brooch - and it was alive. |
She declared the live insect to officials and said she had bought it in Mexico as a brooch but it was immediately confiscated by pest control. Moving live plant pests in any form into or out of the U.S. has to be declared to customs.
|Live jewelry has been featured in Mayan cultural traditions for centuries. |
It was not until the 1980s however that the Mexican Maquech Beetle, a sub-species of the Zopherus beetle, achieved mainstream popularity as live jewelry. The Maquech Beetle is a large, docile, wingless insect.