subspecies

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subspecies

 [sub´spe-shēz]
a subdivision of a species; a variety or race.

subspecies

(sŭb′spē′shēz, -sēz)
n. pl. subspecies
A taxonomic subdivision of a species consisting of an interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms.

sub′spe·cif′ic (-spĭ-sĭf′ĭk) adj.

subspecies

the division of the population of a SPECIES on the grounds of incomplete REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION. In many groups of organisms subspecies have been named on minor morphological differences which usually occur in different geographically defined populations. Often, for example in birds, different parts of a CLINE have been given subspecific status; if clines are to be named, only the extremes should have subspecific names. Clearly defined populations such as island forms often merit subspecific names and might be considered as species in the making. see ISOLATING MECHANISMS.