The main difference between mutualism and also parasitism is the the mutualism is an environmental interaction between two types from which both partners benefit whereas the parasitism is another kind of environmental interaction in i beg your pardon one companion benefits at the costs of the second partner. Furthermore, each partner requires the various other partner for the survival in mutualism while only the parasite needs the host for the survival in parasitism. 

Mutualism and also parasitism are two symbiotic relationship that can occur in a details ecosystem. 

Key areas Covered 

1. What is Mutualism – Definition, Facts, examples 2. What is Parasitism – Definition, Facts, examples 3. What room the Similarities in between Mutualism and also Parasitism – overview of usual Features 4. What is the Difference between Mutualism and also Parasitism – compare of vital Differences

Key Terms 

Host, Mutualism, Mutualist, Parasite, Parasitism, Symbiosis 


What is Mutualism 

Mutualism is a form of symbiosis in i beg your pardon both partners advantage from the relationship. The 2 partners that the mutualistic relationship evolve together in the ecosystem, ending up being a ingredient of it. Every component renders use that the various other component and vice versa. The purpose of the mutualistic connection varies and some that the requirements fulfilled by this kind of connection are food, transport, shelter, pollination, or defense. 

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Figure 1: Oxpeckers eat Ticks

Some mutualistic relationships room described below. 

The punishment or bird and also flower is a mutualistic relationship based upon nutritional needs of the punishment or bird and the pollination because that the flower. Bacteria in the digestive tract of humans help the cradle of food while human offers shelter for that bacteria. The nitrogen-fixing bacteria live in the root of legumes while giving nutrients to plants. The ants safeguard acacia tree from looking by pets while the ants achieve food and shelter native the plant.

What is Parasitism 

Parasitism is another symbiotic relationship, which occurs in between the host and the parasite. The parasite benefits at the expenses of the host. Here, the host does not get any kind of benefit native the parasite. But, the relationship is harmful come the host due to the fact that the parasite grows, feeds, and also reproduce ~ above the host. Sometimes, the relationship deserve to be lethal or pathogenic come the host. Usually, the parasite is smaller sized than the host and shows greater reproduction rates. Some parasites undergo number of developmental stages inside their host. 


Figure 2: A Mosquito Bite

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The 2 main varieties of parasites space endoparasites and ectoparasites. Endoparasites together as Plasmodium, roundworm, tapeworm, and pinworm live within the host. Few of them live in the digestive mechanism of the host and feed ~ above the cradle food. Ectoparasites such together lice, mosquitoes, and fleas live on the host. Some plant parasites encompass aphids and insects the drink the sap.

Similarities in between Mutualism and Parasitism 

Mutualism and also parasitism room two types of symbiotic relationship that can occur in an ecosystem. They occur between two varieties within the same habitat. Both types of relationship are necessary for the consistency the organisms. 

Difference between Mutualism and also Parasitism 


Mutualism refers to interactions between organisms of two various species, in which every organism services from the interaction in part way. Parasitism refers to a form of symbiotic relationship, or permanent relationship in between two species, wherein one member, the parasite, benefit benefits the come at the price of the host member. This is the basis of the difference between mutualism and parasitism.


Mutualism occurs in between two non-parasitic varieties while parasitism occurs in between the host and the parasite. 


In mutualism, the 2 organisms require each various other whereas in parasitism, the parasite needs the host, however the hold doesn’t require the parasite. 


Also, mutualism is not very specific while parasitism is a type of specific relationship. 


The relationship between bees and also flowers, cradle bacteria and also humans, oxpeckers and zebras, clawnfish and also sea anemone, etc. Space some examples of mutualism if the relationship between mosquito and human, lice top top human, tapeworms in cow, and Cuscuta in plants are some instances of parasitism.


Mutualism is a symbiotic communication in i m sorry both species benefit native the relationship. But, parasitism is another kind of symbiotic communication in i beg your pardon the parasite benefits on the costs of the host. Both species are involved in the interaction live in the exact same habitat. The key difference between mutualism and also parasitism is the kind of relationship. 


1. “Mutualistic Relationships.” Evolution, NECSI, Available Here2. “Parasitism – Definition, types and Examples.” biological Dictionary, biologic Dictionary, 29 Apr. 2017, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Impala mutualim v birds wide” through Muhammad Mahdi Karim – Own occupational (GFDL 1.2) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “Anopheles minimus” by Photo: James GathanyContent Provider: CDC – This media originates from the Centers for an illness Control and Prevention’s Public health and wellness Image Library (PHIL), v identification number #7950. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia