Subspecies

Subspecies (commonly abbreviated "subsp." or "ssp.") in biological classification is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, or a taxonomic unit in that rank (plural: subspecies). A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one. (However, all but one subspecies may be extinct, as in Homo sapiens sapiens.)

Organisms that belong to different subspecies of the same species are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring, but they often do not interbreed in nature due to geographic isolation or other factors. The differences between subspecies are usually less distinct than the differences between species, but more distinct than the differences between breeds or races (races can be assigned to different subspecies if taxonomically different). The characteristics attributed to subspecies generally have evolved as a result of geographical distribution or isolation.

Read more about Subspecies:  Nomenclature, Criteria, Monotypic and Polytypic Species

Other articles related to "subspecies":

Subspecies - Monotypic and Polytypic Species
... A polytypic species has two or more subspecies, races or more generally speaking, populations that need a separate description ... together such that they had the opportunity to do so, are not subspecies they are separate species ...
Hartlaub's Spurfowl - Identification - Subspecies
... There are three recognized subspecies P ... h ...
Drosera Peltata - Taxonomy
... a number of synonyms and infraspecific taxa, including varieties and subspecies ... Most subspecies have been reduced to synonymy, but the two taxa that are still considered valid are D ... auriculata and later reduced to a subspecies of D ...
Kumlien's Gull
... has variably been considered a full species, a subspecies of Thayer's Gull, a subspecies of Iceland Gull, and a hybrid between the aforementioned species ... It is currently considered a subspecies of Iceland Gull by the American Ornithologists' Union ...