Heterotroph classification by food source status

A type Characteristic Examples
Biotrophs: Feed on living organisms    
phytophages Eat plants Zebras, hares  
zoophages Feed on animals Lions, wolves  
including parasites   Bull tapeworm, dodder, tinder fungus, flu virus  
Saprotrophs: Use organic matter of dead bodies or animal excreta (excrement) as food    
saprotrophic bacteria   Cellulose-breaking, lactic acid, acetic acid bacteria  
saprotrophic mushrooms   Mucor, Penicillus  
saprotrophic animals (saprophages):      
detritophages Feed on detritus Earthworm  
necrophages Feed on animal corpses Vulture vulture, hyenas  
coprophages Eat feces Dung beetle  


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