Share this entry

Share this page

subspecies

Line breaks: sub|spe¦cies
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌbspiːʃiːz
 
, -ʃɪz, -spiːs-/
(abbreviation: subsp. or ssp.)

Definition of subspecies in English:

noun (plural same)

Biology
A taxonomic category that ranks below species, usually a fairly permanent geographically isolated race. Subspecies are designated by a Latin trinomial, e.g. (in zoology) Ursus arctos horribilis or (in botany) Beta vulgaris crassa.
Example sentences
  • Japan's Iriomote cat was recently demoted from a distinct species to an island subspecies of leopard cat.
  • At the time, it was thought that all the subspecies were separated geographically, at least on the breeding grounds if not entirely in winter.
  • For the data analysis, subspecies and varieties were treated as full species.

Derivatives

subspecific

1
Pronunciation: /-spəˈsɪfɪk/
adjective
Example sentences
  • Genetic data based on mitochondrial DNA generally support current subspecific classifications based on phenotypic traits.
  • Molecular genetic studies of Song Sparrows across North America have also had difficulty finding concordance between genetic variation and subspecific designations based on phenotype.
  • Our original tree included a handful of subspecific taxa as well, but these have been excluded for the present analyses.

Definition of subspecies in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈʃprɑːxɡəˌfuːl
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…