Laney Lee

Life Science

Symbiosis Worksheet & Examples

If you’re looking for a symbiosis worksheet for your science classroom, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Symbiosis Definition

Symbiosis is defined as any natural relationship in which two species live closely together, often depending on one another for survival.

The 3 kinds of symbiotic relationships are as follows:

  • Mutualism: A relationship in which both species benefit.
  • Commensalism: A relationship in which one species benefits and the other is unaffected.
  • Parasitism: A relationship in which one species benefits and the other is harmed.

Symbiosis Examples

Mutualism Examples

Clown Fish & Sea Anemone
The sea anemone is poisonous to most fish, but clown fish are immune. This makes the anemone a perfect home for the clown fish. In exchange, the fish cleans the anemone of algae and chases off any fish who may eat it.

Bees & Flowering Plants
Bees provide a service for the flowers by pollinating them, and in exchange the flower produces a sugary nectar for the bees.

Ants & Aphids
Ants are essentially farmers are they protect the aphids and provide them nutrients in exchange for the sugary food that the aphids produce.

Commensalism Examples

Spiders & Trees
Spiders depend on trees to provide a location for their webs, but the tree is completely unaffected by this interaction.

Hermit Crabs & Dead Mollusks
Species with shells decompose after they die, but their shell lives on. A hermit crab may find the shell and make it their home, but obviously the mollusk is unaffected.

Cattle & Egrets
Egrets eat the bugs that come up as they are disturbed by the grazing of the cattle. The cattle do not benefit from this relationship, nor are they harmed.

Parasitism Examples

Dogs & Fleas
Fleas bite dogs and feed on their blood, this irritates and causes harm to the dog.

Mosquitoes & Humans
Mosquitoes bite and feed on the blood of humans, causing itching and irritation.

Aphids & Plants
Aphids feed on plants, damaging them as they do so.

Symbiosis Worksheets

Symbiosis Guided Reading Worksheet

This resource is great for introducing, reteaching, or reviewing the different kinds of symbiotic relationships. Students are given examples and will determine if each is mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism.

Get it directly from me or through TPT.

Symbiosis Color by Number Worksheet

Classify examples of symbiosis and color based on your answer with this fun resource!

Get it here.

Symbiosis Cut & Glue Activity

With this resource, students will cut apart 25 squares and use logic and problem solving skills to reassemble them in such a way that only matching answers touch.

Get it here.

Symbiosis One Pager

This resource is great for review! Students can freely fill in their own notes and summaries of each kind of symbiotic relationship as well as doodle in the images provided.

Get it here.

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