Difference between Parasitism and Symbiosis




Parasitism is a relationship between two organisms in which one of them benefits and the other species is harmed.

Symbiosis is a close relationship between two organisms in which one of the two or both benefits from each other.

The species which benefits is called the parasite, and the species which is harmed is called the host.

The two organisms are called symbionts.


Lice on the human head, Puccinia on wheat causing black rust disease, helminths in the intestine of their hosts.

Lichens, mycorrhizae, aphids and ants where aphids provide ants with honeydew and ants protect them from predators.

Explore BYJU’S Biology for more related topics.

Also see:


What is the difference between saprophytic nutrition and parasitic nutrition?

Saprophytic nutrition is the one where an organism lives by feeding on the remains of dead and decaying matters. Parasitic nutrition is where the parasite lives off on a living host.

Is lichen a symbiotic plant?

Yes, a lichen is a symbiotic association between algae and fungus.

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