Difference Between Euglena and Paramecium


Main Difference

The main difference between Euglena and Paramecium is that Euglena can either be a plant-like or animal-like organism, whereas Paramecium is only an animal-like organism.

Euglena vs. Paramecium

Euglena is considered as a unicellular, green, freshwater organism having a flagellum; on the other hand, paramecium is regarded as a unicellular, freshwater animal with a distinctive shoe-like shape. The structure of euglena can be animal-like or a plant-like; on the contrary, the structure of paramecium is only an animal-like.

Euglena consists of a chloroplast, while paramecium does not consist of its chloroplast; instead, it swallows green algae. Euglena takes particles of food; on the flip side, paramecium snatches food through predation. The feeding mechanism of euglena is that it either undergo photosynthesis or ingest food particles; on the other hand, the feeding mechanism of a paramecium is that it either undergoes photosynthesis or latches food through predation.


For propagation, euglena uses a flagellum; on the flip side, paramecium uses cilia for their propagation. Euglena is mainly sensitive to light and moves towards the sun, whereas paramecium is primarily sensitive to light, temperature, chemicals, and as well as touch. Only asexual reproduction occurs in euglena; on the flip side, paramecium goes through both sexual and asexual reproduction.

Euglena is known both a heterotroph and autotroph; on the contrary, paramecium is mainly a heterotroph. Euglena can survive through prolonged droughts without the availability of water or light, but in contrast, paramecium cannot escape through prolonged droughts and in unfavorable conditions.

The pellicle is present in euglena, which enhances their flexibility, while on the other hand, no pellicle is present in paramecium. Euglena consists of a tail that aids it in the swim, while paramecium does not have a tail.


Comparison Chart

Euglena is known as the name of a unicellular flagellate genus of the phylum Euglenozoa having more than 800 species defined under 44 families of this phylum.Paramecium is a unicellular well-studied, and well-known protozoan having a characteristic body cover with cilia.
Considered As
A unicellular, green, freshwater organism having a flagellumA unicellular, freshwater animal with a distinguishing shoe-like shape
Either be an animal-like or a plant-likeOnly an animal-like
Consists of a chloroplastDoes not consist of its chloroplast, instead, it swallows green algae
Heterotrophic Nutrition Mode
Swallows particles of foodSnatches food through predation
Feeding Mechanism
Either undergo photosynthesis or ingest food particlesEither undergoes photosynthesis or latches food through predation
Uses a flagellum for its propagationUses cilia for their propagation
Mainly sensitive to light and move towards the lightPrimarily sensitive to light, temperature, chemicals, and as well as touch
Only asexual reproduction occursGo through both sexual and asexual reproduction
Known both a heterotroph and autotrophMainly a heterotroph
Survival Rate
Can survive through prolonged droughts without the availability of water or lightCannot survive through prolonged droughts and in unfavorable conditions
The pellicle is present which enhances their flexibilityNo pellicle is present
Presence of a Tail
Consists of a tail which aids it in swimDoes not have a tail

What is Euglena?

Euglena is referred to as a green, freshwater organism, unicellular having a flagellum. Euglena mainly possesses characteristics of plants and animals. It resembles a plant because it also consists of the chloroplast. If the light and favorable conditions are available, then it also undergoes photosynthesis.

The chloroplast present in euglena is scattered throughout in its cell. Euglena consists of pyrenoids, which are considered microcompartments present inside the chloroplast, function in operating carbon-concentrating mechanisms.

The food in euglena is stored in the form of starch granules. Animal-like characteristics are also present in euglena. Euglena consists of an eyespot that is present for the detection of light.

A cell wall is not present in euglena; preferably, it consists of a pellicle. The pellicle is mainly made up of a protein layer, which is typically arranged around the cells of the euglena. Microtubules are responsible for holding the pellicle. The sliding of the pellicle strips offers and enhances flexibility and contractility to euglena.

The sliding process of the pellicle is known as metaboly. The gullet present in euglena serves as a reservoir of food. For the locomotion of euglena, it consists of a flagellum. Euglena also consists of the contractile vacuole, which is known as myoneme, which also assists in the movement of euglena, as well as this contractile vacuole is also involved in osmoregulation and the excretion of waste material.

What is Paramecium?

Paramecium is referred to as freshwater, unicellular, having the characteristics of animals. It looks like the sole of the shoe in its appearance. 0.3 mm is the approximate length of the paramecium. Paramecium is considered the scientific, generic name, and as well as it is used as the common name.

Paramecium consists of cilia, and its outer surface is covered with cilia. Cilia plays a vital role in the locomotion of the paramecium. When cilia beat toward backward, the forward movement of a paramecium is achieved, and when cilia beat toward a forward direction, the paramecium moves backward.

Inside the cell of the paramecium, a small micronucleus and a large micronucleus can be identified. The oval groove is present on one side of the paramecium. The oval slot forms a gullet and ends up with a cytostome.

The cilia of paramecium are also involved in feeding through passing the food directly into the gullet. Paramecium gets food through predation and sometimes through photosynthesis as it swallows the green algae. The ingested food is typically digested in the vacuole, and then the waste materials are excreted out through the anal pore of the paramecium.

Under favorable conditions, paramecium reproduces through asexual reproduction by the process of binary fission. Paramecium reproduces through sexual reproduction by the process of conjugation under unfavorable conditions. Paramecium is primarily sensitive to the changes that occur in the environment, for example, light, temperature, chemicals, and as well as touch.

Key Differences

  1. Euglena expresses the qualities and characteristics of both plants and animals; on the other hand, paramecium only shows attributes of animals.
  2. Euglena consists of flagella and uses it for its propagation; on the contrary, paramecium consists of cilia and uses it for its propagation.
  3. Chloroplasts is present in euglena; on the flip side, the chloroplast is not present in paramecium.
  4. Euglena is considered both heterotroph and autotroph, while paramecium is considered only a heterotroph.
  5. The survival rate of euglena is high because it can survive prolonged droughts without light and water. In contrast, paramecium cannot survive in long droughts and without the availability of favorable conditions.
  6. Euglena contains a pellicle which allows them the flexibility, while there is no pellicle present in paramecium.
  7. Only asexual reproduction occurs in euglena; on the other hand, both sexual and asexual reproduction occurs in paramecium.
  8. Euglena feeds on food particles or undergoes photosynthesis; on the contrary, paramecium either undergoes photosynthesis or gets food through predation.


The above discussion concludes that the euglena consists of chloroplasts and undergo photosynthesis. However, they ingest food particles as well, while paramecium does not include chloroplasts, but it swallows green algae, and they get food through predation.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White