from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A taxonomic subdivision of a species consisting of an interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rank in the classification of organisms, below species
  • n. A taxon at that rank

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A group somewhat lessdistinct than speciesusually are, but based on characters more important than those which characterize ordinary varieties; often, a geographical variety or race.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In zoology and botany, a variety of a species; a climatic or geographical race recognizably different from another, yet not specifically distinguished; a conspecies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (biology) a taxonomic group that is a division of a species; usually arises as a consequence of geographical isolation within a species


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Anyway, the point is that if you're not a certain subspecies of nerd, you probably are going to find the Silmarillion boring.

    At least I didn't slight Tolkien

  • So the biggest of all reindeer subspecies is non-migratory, and so is the smallest, the platyrhynchus subspecies of Spitzbergen.

    Oh deer oh deer oh deer

  • 'These mongooses may represent a separate subspecies from the one that exists in Kenya,' said Dr. De Luca of WCS 'Tanzania Program.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • As confusing as this may be for the non-expert the important consideration is the no matter wether correctly called redband steelhead, or redhead steelhead, they are all rainbow trout and are classified as subspecies of the full species Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    Trout and Salmon of North America

  • For example, there are no subspecies among the five species of Pacific salmon because, without a geographical barrier isolating adjacent populations, a fully anadromous species typically does not partition its diversity into discrete units that might be classified as subspecies.

    Trout and Salmon of North America

  • Subsequently, the golden trout was described as a subspecies of cutthroat trout in 1892.

    Trout and Salmon of North America

  • The Santo Domingo trout is sometimes classified as the subspecies nelsoni.

    Trout and Salmon of North America

  • In 1894, the landlocked salmon of Quebec was described as a subspecies, “S. salar ouananiche.”

    Trout and Salmon of North America

  • They are either classified as a subspecies of humans (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) or as a separate species

    Best Syndication -

  • Maybe one or more of the supposed subspecies is going to be elevated to species rank – or in fact restored to species rank, because at least some of the taxa were initially named as species, but later demoted when it became fashionable to lump big mammals in this way (and there’s an essay in that subject, by the way).

    Archive 2006-01-01


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