The Gila Woodpecker and The Saguaro Cactus

By: Myaaja Coley   Core: 3   Teacher: Rose


Mutualism is the way two organisms of different species exist in a relationship in which each individual benefits from the activity of the other. In other words, two completely different organisms play a role that benefits each other. Organisms that that have a mutualistic relationship evolved together. They were from the same environment so they made use of their surroundings, so to say.

The saguaro cactus providing food for the gila woodpecker

How Are They A Good Match?

The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes Uropygialis) pecks a hole in the Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea Gigantea) for shelter and protection from the harsh Southwest and New Mexico in the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which covers large parts of the Southwestern United States in Arizona and California, and of Northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California and Baja California Sur. From this, the cactus gets pollinated and also forms a hard outing (the boot) to also protect itself. The woodpecker pecks away the dead unhealthy skin and also the toxic insects that feed off of the cactus, this provides the woodpecker with food.

Resource Page

Comment Stream