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Nastiest Trend in History: Decorated Beetles Used as Brooches - A Little Alytude | A Little Alytude

Nastiest Trend in History: Decorated Beetles Used as Brooches

Insects are my biggest phobia. Show me a mattress in the street, I’ll cross to the other side. Tell me that Starbucks uses crushed bugs to create red dye for their blended beverages, I’ll stick to drip coffee.

So, clearly I’m not ready to start pinning any bug carcasses to my bodice…

We all know Mayan women have worn decorated live beetles for centuries. Whatever. They also predicted the world was going to end.

It seems, though, modern-day women in Mexico have revived the practice. The stones are glued to a Mexican Tenebrionid beetle who is tied to a pin by use of a little chain leash so the beetle can’t get away. The result is what is called a Maquech Brooch. Tenebrionid beetles eat rotting wood and apples. Yes. I’m serious.

Animal rights activists are appalled by the trend and want the practice banned.  They are right. However, me, as a HUMAN am against this because it’s just…frightening. The beetles can be transported within Mexico, but tourists who cross the border with a live beetle will be fined. That’s, I assume, if anyone realizes it’s being worn in the first place…because who would ASSUME you are wearing a bug?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture does not allow the importation of beetles from Mexico. The AP reports in this video below. Thank God. Not that we don’t have plenty of our own homegrown ones here, right?


  1. Allison

    Yeah…that’s just nasty. I love sparkly things as much as the next woman, but there is no way in hell I’m wearing a living, crawling, beetle. You could coat that thing in crushed diamonds and I still wouldn’t touch it!

  2. Nancy Reid

    I rather anything natural then synthetic ingredients! Red dye 2 can cause terrible side effects in many people. As to the jewelry, I already live in S. Florida where palmetto bugs are bigger than tanks. I have finally gotten used to them but please no living bug jewelry for me. I draw the line!

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