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Probiosis (also called carpose or parabiosis ) is an ecological interaction of alien organisms ( interspecific interrelationships ) in which one of the two partners benefits from living together without benefiting or harming the other.

Forms of probiosis

Phoresia: Bolitophagus reticulatus almost covered with mites that use the beetle as a transport host
Limoniinae ( Neolimonia dumetorum ) as Phorent a pseudo scorpion
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Epökie: Dense with sessile animals and crusty coralline red algae (which also cover the surrounding area) overgrown shell of an abalone ( Haliotis ) in a reef off the coast of Tasmania
  • Phoresie (from Gr. Φορείν phorein "to carry"): Temporary transport company. An animal ( Phoret , guest) uses another animal ( Phorent , host) for the purpose of moving without harming it. Some plants, for example, use birds or the fur of other animals (e.g. burdock ) to spread their seeds, ship keepers attach themselves to faster fish (see taxis ). In the case of mites that live phoretically at times, there is the development stage of heteromorphic deutonymphs (also called wandering nymphs or hypopes), a permanent (a few days to months) and wandering stage equipped with organs of attachment and adapted to water and food shortages . As a result of certain environmental stimuli , often a lack of food or water, the metamorphosis into the migratory nymph stage takes place, which is actively looking for a phorent. In some species the migratory nymph can also switch between different phorents. Through stimuli, for example smells, which signal the animals to have renewed availability of water, the wandering nymph finally develops to the mostly no longer phoretic adult stage. Examples of phoresy are also known from the fossil record . In the Baltic amber , for example, inclusions are handed down that document such transport companies, e.g. B. moss scorpions on brackish wasps or snipe flies , turtle mites on beetles , mite larvae on spiders. Hyperphoresia is a special form of phoresia . The Phoret becomes a Phorent itself through an even smaller Phoretically living species.
  • Symphorism or Epökie ("settlement"): Permanent residence of an epiphyte or an epizoe on the surface of another living being without the carrier being damaged. Lichen , moss and ferns settle on the bark of trees , algae settle e.g. B. on the shells of turtles ; Barnacles settle on whales ; In coral reefs, algae and sedentary ( sessile ) animals settle on both non- sedentary ( vagile ) and other sessile animals. There are also many examples in the fossil record for epökie, especially in reef-like habitats.
  • Synökie ("living community"): Use of the dwelling place of another living being, if for example smaller animals find protection through it. The host tolerates renting by guests as long as the guests do not significantly influence their food reserves. For example, ants tolerate springtail species , larvae of the Hoverfly genus Microdon or those of the leaf beetle genus Clytra , long- feeler horrors of the genus Myrmecophilus , antfish ( Atelura spec. ) And the raven beetles of the genus Dinarda . They are called ant guests .
  • Parökie ("settlement"): Living in the neighborhood, where one of the two partners receives protection or food. Birds often follow larger animals, which while grazing scare away insects that serve as food for the birds. Larvae of the rose beetle often live in the periphery of an ant colony .
  • Entökie ("renting in"): living in the body of another living being as a protective renting without parasitizing. For example, some fish and shrimps inhabit the tentacle crown of large sea ​​anemones .
  • Metabiosis is a strongly one-sided relationship of dependency of one kind on the activity of another. So are stock doves and green woodpeckers because of their soft beaks such on the Den by other species. B. instructed the great spotted woodpecker. In contrast to the synecia of bats, stock pigeons and green woodpeckers only colonize suitable tree hollows (entry hole and dimensions inside), while bats also use standing dead wood as summer quarters.


  • Ekkehard Wiesner, Regine Ribbeck (Hrsg.): Lexicon of veterinary medicine. 4th edition. Enke, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-7773-1459-5 .
  • Matthias Schaefer: Dictionary of Ecology. 4th edition. Spectrum, Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg et al. 2003, ISBN 3-8274-0167-4 .
  • Wolfgang Weitschat: Hunters, the hunted, parasites and stowaways - snapshots from the amber forest. In: Denisia, Vol. 26, also catalogs of the Upper Austrian State Museums, New Series, Vol. 86, 2009, pp. 243–256 ( PDF 1.83 MB)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ernst Ebermann: Tragwirt communities (Phoresie) in arachnids (Arachnida). In: Denisia, Vol. 12, also catalogs of the Upper Austrian State Museums, New Series, Vol. 14, 2004, pp. 93–110 ( PDF 2.33 MB).