SciBugsCollections is taking a short break
Note from shop owner
Virginia on Nov 5, 20185 out of 5 stars
The earrings arrived today and are even more gorgeous in person! Such intense color saturation, such shimmer! And if it is a concern to anyone, these are very lightweight. Thank you for finding beauty in our natural world!!!
Sarah on Mar 5, 20185 out of 5 stars
Quick shipping and the earrings are gorgeous! I got them as a gift for my partner and they loved them!
Sabrina on Jan 29, 20185 out of 5 stars
Such beautiful earrings and study as well.
SciBugs Collections features ecofriendly bug jewelry made with natural products from all around the world! Why not add a bit of sparkle to your day?
After living in the Cloud Forest of Ecuador two two years, Nancy traded her leafy jungle in for a concrete one! Living in Quito, Ecuador, she conducts her own sustainable ecotours focused on Ecology, Conservation, Entomology, and local culture.
Sasha Handmade seeks to combine traditional Ecuadorian artisanal methods with the modern world. Transforming the work of Luis Jose and Mercedes who keep the traditional art of weaving alive, Sasha Handmade combines their work with genuine leather products from Cotacachi to create modern products.
Tribu is a Quito owned brand that focuses on genuine leather made goods. The leather is produced and processed in Cotacachi Ecuador. Tribu is well known for their leather products including shoes, purses, bags, and journal covers.
Customs and import taxes
Returns & exchanges
Frequently asked questions
What is Tagua?
Tagua is a nut that grows on the coast of Ecuador from a palm tree. It can be cut, dyed, and polished. It's not farmed like other palms. People just pick up what falls to the ground and use it in handicrafts.
It's nickname is "Vegetable Ivory" due to its hardness and natural ivory color.
Where do you get the beetle wings? Are they sustainable and ethically sourced?
Yes! They are sustainable and ethically sourced.
The jewel beetle wings come from a supplier in Thailand. There, the jewel beetles are sustainably harvested by the locals who eat them. The shells can't be eaten, so they are sold to venders who then sell them. The locals are paid for the shells. The beetles are harvested and maintained somewhat like cattle. The protects wild beetles.
Where do you get the butterfly and other insect wings? Are they sustainable and ethically sourced?
Yes! They are sustainable and ethically sourced.
The butterfly (and other insect) wings come from two sources. One, is that I collect only dead specimens that I find. Sometimes they die because of old age or fungus. Sometimes I find just the wings as birds and other predators rip the wings off and then will just eat the body. (Nature is rough sometimes...)
Otherwise, I save wings from old student collections. Students, in most entomology classes, are required to create physical insect collections to learn the basics of morphology, identification, and processing. At the end of the semester, some specimens are placed in the museum. All others would be thrown out. I collect them and use their wings in my jewelry to give them a new life.
Do you do anything to the butterfly wings?
Yes. I coat them in a type of thin plastic to ensure that they are waterproof and protected. Many butterfly wings that you can buy encased in glass cannot be exposed to moisture unless the seller has sealed the wings perfectly. That's because many butterflies, like the shiny ones, use specialized micro-structures to make their colors. If water enters the structures, they don't reflect light correctly, and they look brown. This process ensures that the butterfly wing always stay vibrant and shiny!
If you're interested in learning about the micro-stuctures, check out my YouTube video.
Are the beetle shells fragile
I'm probably the most destructive person you'll find on the planet.
That being said, when I motorbike through the jungle and I wear these (and sometimes they flap around in the wind) and I haven't had any break.
I did have one that I left in the bottom of my backpack for a week and the end of the shell chipped off.
So with regular care, nothing is going to happen to them. Chitin (the stuff that insect exoskeletons are made of) is naturally really hard! In fact, there's one beetle - called the "Iron Clad Beetle" and its shell is so hard that people actually have to use an industrial drill to drill holes through them. #randombugfact
Do you do anything to the beetle shells?
Nope! They're 100% natural. They range in colors naturally, are naturally hard and durable, and really are that shiny! Nature is amazing! I urge you to read about Jewel Beetles.
Are the earrings heavy?
On average the earrings weight between 2-3 grams (the weight of 2 or 3 paperclips)
The beetle shells are really light and since the tagua is cut pretty thin, it's not that heavy either. Obviously, the smaller earrings are lighter than the bigger clunkier ones. That being said, I drive on my motor bike, wind whipping at my face, and haven't had a problem.
Are the earrings and necklaces hypoallergenic
Yes! All the metals I use are both nickle and lead free.
I do not yet have the option to make jewelry with silver, gold, or platinum but check back soon as I'm considering adding these options.