One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An association between two organisms in which one (e.g. a mite) travels on the body of another, without being a parasite.
- ‘The only means of dispersal available to them are walking, passive aerial dispersal, or phoresy.’
- ‘This behavior by the lice is known as phoresy and is in effect a risky process of redistribution in which the lice get to travel freely on the flies.’
1920s: from French phorésie, from Greek phorēsis ‘being carried’.
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