what is the difference between saprophytic and parasitic nutrition?



A parasite takes readymade food from the organism on which it feeds.

They secrete digestive juices on the matter they live and convert it into a solution and then absorb it.

They feed on living organisms.

They feed on dead and decaying organisms.

The organism on which it feeds is called host.

They do not feed on living organisms.

It deprives the host of valuable nutrients.

There is no host at all.


More to Know:

Parasitic Nutrition:

An association between individuals of two different species which is beneficial to one and generally harmful to another is called parasitism. Organisms which use parasitic mode of nutrition are called parasites.

Most parasites are microbes like the bacteria and viruses and animals. Cascutta is a parasitic plant. It does not have chlorophyll. It takes readymade food from the plant on which it is climbing (Host).


  • Ectoparasites - live on the outer surface of the host. Example, Leeches
  • Endoparasites - live inside the body of the host. Example: Tapeworm


Saprophytic Nutrition:

The mode of nutrition in which the organism takes nutrients in solution from dead and decaying matter is called saprophytic nutrition. Organisms which use saprophytic mode of nutrition are called saprophytes. Example: Fungus, Bacterium etc.

 Plants which use saprophytic mode of nutrition are called saprophytes. Example. Ferns club mosses etc.

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  • saprophytic mode of nutrition:- in this mode an organisms and grew on dead and decay organisms/material is known as saprophites.


for example:- yeast,mushroom etc.


  • parasitic mode of nutrition:- in this mode an organisms depends on other organisms for nutition and causes harm to host body such organisms are called parasites.


for example:- cuscuta/dodder/amerbel.

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Saprophytes are the animals which feed on dead and decaying animals.
eg:- moulds, mushroom etc.
Parasatic mode of nutrition is that in which organism feeds on a living organism(host).
eg:- leach, flat worm,plain worms etc.

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SAPROPHYTES ------ 1)saprophyte feeds on something dead.

2) Saprophytes secrete enzymes which are released on the substrate.

3) It shows extracellular digestion.

4) It does not depend on living host

eg: mushroom

PARASITIES --------------1)1. The organism, which depends upon other organism for its nourishment and growth, is known as parasite.

2)Parasites develop haustoria to attach to the host or for sucking food from the hosts’ body.

3) It has intracellular digestion.

4) It causes harm to the organism. eg: plasmodium

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