Phoresis (biology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pseudoscorpion hitching a ride on a fly.

In biology, the term phoresis, also called phoresy, is an inter-species biological interaction in ecology and refers to a form of symbiosis where the symbiont, termed the phoront, is mechanically transported by its host. It is a type of commensalism; neither organism is physiologically dependent on the other.[citation needed]

Examples may be found in the arthropods associated with sloths. The coprophagous sloth moths such as Bradipodicola hahneli and Cryptoses choloepi, are unusual in that they are exclusively found inhabiting the fur of the sloths, mammals found in central and South America.[1][2] The sloth provides transport to the moths whose females oviposit in the droppings of sloths, larvae feed on it and newly hatched moths move into the forest canopy in search of a new sloth host.


  1. ^ Sherman, Lee. ""An OSU scientist braves an uncharted rainforest in a search for rare and endangered species" in "Expedition to the Edge"". Terra, Spring 2008. Oregon State University. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Rau, P (1941). "Observations on certain lepidopterous and hymenopterous parasites of Polistes wasps". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 34: 355–366(12). Retrieved 14 February 2011.