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enter image description hereA year ago my family and I were in Tanzania on vacation. Upon returning to our home in Alaska my wife found a small stowaway in her luggage. Feeling sorry for the poor creature we put it in a container, gave it some green leafy things to eat, some water and some paper towels pieces to hide/burrow under - thinking that its life span would be a few days/weeks and short of flying back to Tanzania this was the best we could do. Skip ahead a year and he/she is still with us... every few days we change its food, change its bedding, and make sure it has something moist to get water from. We even took it on vacation this year to Florida and back because trying to explain how and why to take care of our friend to a neighborhood kid may work for pet cats or hamsters but we were afraid Mr. Bug might not survive. Since we are coming up an a full year of bug sitting we are wondering what is it ? And should my daughter plan on taking it to college with her when she leaves in 6 years ?

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  • $\begingroup$ Given how long you've had the critter, and looking at the photo, I think you have a beetle larva here; you may be "sitting" for some years yet (once you see it pupate there will be less than a year [I think] left, and the resulting adult will be much easier to identify ... if it gets that far you may want to follow up with more pictures). $\endgroup$ – Arthur J Frost Feb 21 at 1:22
  • $\begingroup$ FYI: please do not travel with insects. This is how nonnative species get spread -_- $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 21 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Arthur. It is a beetle larva. I don't agree with forestecolgist. Most non-native species spread as unintended hitchhikers in commercial shipping, or as intentional introductions. $\endgroup$ – Karl Kjer Feb 21 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ Topview and bottom view photo would be appreciated $\endgroup$ – Sonic Splasher Feb 21 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Karl I wasn't trying to suggest that personal luggage was the (i.e., the primary) way that invasives are spread -- Just one such way that it can happen. So no one should willingly and knowingly enable it to happen. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Feb 25 at 2:41

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