Other Pokemon in symbiotic relationships
Although I only planned to make four parts in this series, I have found that there are many symbiotic relationships in Pokemon, so I will give a few honourable mentions.
Plusle and Minun – These two often seen as partners, as their positive and negative charges complement each other.
Plusle (right) and Minum (left)
Bulbasaur and its bulb – Bulbasaur gains nutrients from its bulbs ability to photosynthesis, and the bulb gains the ability to move around and collect more sunlight.
Shelmet and Karrablast – When traded at the same time, the two swap “shells” and are able to evolve.
Tropius and its bananas – Tropius gets a nice, convenient snack. The bananas are able to grow happily on Tropius and drop their seeds across a wide geographic area due to Tropius’s movement. Another method of spreading seeds is through Poo (yes, many trees have been planted from seeds in poo), so these banana seeds might be specially adapted to resist Tropius’s digestive juices in order to get pooed out.
Pokerus – The Pokerus survives and spreads thanks to its host, and the host gets the ability to power EV train.
Tangela – Tangela, and its evolution Tangrowth, are able to use the vines that grow in it to scare of enemies. The vines have a nice place to grow, and may avoid predators due to Tangelas movement.
Illumise and Volbeat, Nidoking and Nidoqueen – According to the Pokedex, these Pokemon are different species. If this is the case, they are in a mutual relationship because they rely on each other to breed,*
Roserade, Torterra and Bellossom etc. and their plants – Based exclusively on the data provided, these plants do not seem to pose a threat to their Pokemon hosts, nor do they provide a benefit. However, they could potentially be an example of all three different symbiotic relationships mentioned, but we just don’t have enough information.
Lotad and small land Pokemon – Lotad will sometimes ferry smaller Pokemon that can’t swim across lakes or rivers. It does not seem to receive a benefit, but does it out of the goodness of its heart. Lotad likes to float around anyway, so it isn’t detrimental to help out. When a commensal relationship entails one partner using the other for transport only, it is called Phoresy.
Lotad carrying a mudkip
Ledian – Ledian sleeps in a leaf at night, which provides it protection. The leaf does not seem to be effected. This is the same for numerous Pokemon that live in trees, such as bug or flying types. The technical term for this is Inquilinism, where one partner receives a permanent house and the other is unaffected.
Corsola and small sea life/humans – Large Corsola colonies provide hiding places for small sea life to find protection in, and sometimes humans can even build floating villages on their backs (Pacifidlog). The Corsola don’t seem to mind either interaction, but they also do not gain a benefit.
Vileplume and its flower – The flower on Vileplume’s head is so huge it affects Vileplume’s mobility, as it is too heavy to hold up. It is unclear whether the flower provides a benefit. In saying this**,
Clearly, there are many examples of symbiotic relationships in the Pokémon world. These are just a few of the many potential relationships, but there are probably many, many more!
*I am not convinced that they are different species. In the past, species were categorized by morphology (How they look) instead of genetics, but not all species that have similar DNA look the same. Occasionally throughout history this has meant two species that were in the same genetic family weren’t recognized as such. I am convinced that these examples of Pokemon would be shown to have the same DNA, and that is why they can have babies of both male and female types. If this is the case, they would not be in a symbiotic relationship because the male and female counterparts would be the same species.
**Gloom seems to benefit from the scent its flower releases, so they could also be in a mutual relationship.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the images in this post, nor do I own any of the Pokemon mentioned