Diamond beetles are a species of insects that naturally develop a carapace of organic diamond. They are particularly formidable beasts, rapidly growing in size and strength from the moment they are born. Due to the diamond-content of their carapace, they are incredibly durable and particularly deadly - their diamond claws can tear through even advanced armors with relative ease.
Diamond beetles possess significant reasoning ability, and may be seen as a sentient species. They have displayed self-awareness, the ability to communicate, and even the ability to operate captured weaponry without the need of training or education.
Despite this, they are routinely raised for the purpose of harvesting their carapaces. Although 31st-century prices on diamonds are not especially fantastic, a properly mounted diamond-beetle fragment with, say, a nice clock fastened to it pulls down a pretty good price. At least among the kinds of people who buy that sort of crap.
A botched attempt to smuggle diamond beetle eggs led to an infestation that over-ran the luxury liner Princess Tyola.