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Certain ants (e.g. Pseudomyrmex spinicola) nest in the thorns of the acacia. In exchange for food and shelter, ants protect acacias from attack by herbivores and competition from other plants. The ants reduce competition by trimming back vegetation that shades the shrub.

Acacia plant and the Ants

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Neither are harmed

Both benefit

MUTUALISM


Carcass eaters follow hunting animals.

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Carcass eaters

Neither are harmed

Hunting animals

COMMENSALISM


Mistletoe grows on a wide range of trees, and can eventually prove fatal to them where infestation is heavy, though damage more commonly only results in growth reduction. All mistletoes have evergreen leaves that carry out some photosynthesis on their own, relying on the host mainly for water and the mineral nutrients it carries.

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

The Mistletoe

Host trees

They are both affected

PARASITISM


The goby fish sometimes lives together with a shrimp. The shrimp digs and cleans up a burrow in the sand in which both the shrimp and the goby fish live. The shrimp is almost blind leaving it vulnerable to predators when above ground. In case of danger, the goby fish touches the shrimp with its tail to warn it. When that happens, both the shrimp and goby fish quickly retract into the burrow.

The Shrimp and the Goby fish

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Neither are harmed

Both benefit

MUTUALISM


Ringworm, also known as "Tinea", is a contagious fungal infection of the skin, and can exist anywhere on the body. Contrary to its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but generally is a reddish to brownish raised or bumpy patch of skin that may be lighter in the center, giving the appearance of a 'ring'.

Ringworm

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Host skin

Both are affected

PARASITISM


Hermit crabs use gastropod shells to protect their bodies. infection of the skin, and can exist anywhere on the body. Contrary to its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but generally is a reddish to brownish raised or bumpy patch of skin that may be lighter in the center, giving the appearance of a 'ring'.

Hermit Crabs

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Neither are harmed

Gastropod

COMMENSALISM


Some species of ants "farm" aphids, protecting them on the plant they eat, and eating the honeydew that the aphids secrete.

Aphids and the Ants

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Neither are harmed

Both benefit

MUTUALISM


Many cuckoos use other birds as "babysitters"; cuckoo young are raised and fed by adults of the host species, but adult cuckoos fend for themselves.

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Cuckoo

Host birds

Both are affected

PARASITISM


The Egyptian Plover bird is well known for preying on parasites that feed on crocodiles. To that end, the crocodile openly invites the bird to hunt on its body, even going so far as to open its jaws to allow the bird to enter its mouth safely to hunt the leeches from its gums. For the bird, this relationship is not only a source of food, but a safe one, considering that few predator species would dare strike at the bird at such proximity to its host.

The Plover and the Crocodile

What BENEFITS?

What is HARMED?

What is UNAFFECTED?

Neither are harmed

They are both affected

MUTUALISM


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