Possibility also include "adaptation mode" if such exist. I don't discern whether autotrophic/heterotrophic part play only minor role either.

  • $\begingroup$ Does "complex" mean multicellular here? Or something more? Plants are usually autotrophs - do they count as complex? $\endgroup$ – Alan Boyd Nov 25 '12 at 11:55
  • $\begingroup$ yes multicellular at least $\endgroup$ – dhubris Nov 26 '12 at 6:14

For example sundews are plants (so autotrophic), but they "hunt" for insects to get additional nutrients, e.g. nitrogen. As far as I remember the nitrogen is the main reason for eating other organisms but they also use other substances, including carbohydrates, from their prey.

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    $\begingroup$ To add to this: Those which are both are called photoheterotrophs or chemoheterotrophs. They get their energy from the sun/chemicals (via oxidation of electron donors) respectively but do not get all of their carbon from carbon dioxide, it is subsidised by the consumption of other matter. $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 25 '12 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ @jkadlubowska: OK, but it make sundews ambiguous to fungi or other parasitic plants. I'm expecting more extreme case, maybe invertebrate? $\endgroup$ – dhubris Nov 26 '12 at 6:20
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    $\begingroup$ @dhubris could you make what you actually want clearer? in the question it says "complex organism" then in the comments you define that as "multicellular at least" and now here you set the bar higher and want invertebrates, clarity will get the best answers. There are some cases of symbiosis between chemoautotrophs and invertebrates almost exclusively in deep sea environments (geology.wisc.edu/~wiscsims/pdfs/Dattagupta_ISME2009.pdf). However, in the definition of the animal kingdom it states that all animals are heterotrophs (windows2universe.org/earth/Life/animalia.html) $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 26 '12 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ I think the concept of autotrophy and heterotrophy is narrower than the one you are using here. They refer to the source of carbon and not just source of matter. If we accept that sundews are auto- and hetero- troph, then we'll have to accept that we (human) are also hetero- and auto- trophs as we are mining for salt. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 23 '14 at 13:59

Just look up kleptoplasty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptoplasty The slugs who most frequently employ it would fit your more restrictive definition. Now, if we're getting technical, they aren't born that way. They steal the chloroplasts, but you didn't say, so I guess you need to revise your expectations again. ;)

  • $\begingroup$ now that is a cool symbiosis! $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 26 '12 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ Do these slugs use inorganic carbon? Do they have a Calvin cycle of carbon fixation? If not, they only get energy from light, meaning that they are photoheterotroph and not autotroph. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 23 '14 at 14:01

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