In biological classification, subspecies is a rank below species, used for populations that live in different areas and vary in size, shape, or other physical characteristics (morphology), but that can successfully interbreed.   Not all species have subspecies, but for those that do there must be at least two. Subspecies is abbreviated subsp. or ssp. and the singular and plural forms are the same ("the subspecies is" or "the subspecies are").
In zoology, under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the subspecies is the only taxonomic rank below that of species that can receive a name. In botany and mycology, under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, other infraspecific ranks, such as variety, may be named. In bacteriology and virology, under standard bacterial nomenclature and virus nomenclature, there are recommendations but not strict requirements for recognizing other important infraspecific ranks.
A taxonomist decides whether to recognize a subspecies. A common criterion for recognizing two distinct populations as subspecies rather than full species is the ability of them to interbreed even if some male offspring may be sterile.  In the wild, subspecies do not interbreed due to geographic isolation or sexual selection. The differences between subspecies are usually less distinct than the differences between species.
The scientific name of a species is a binomial or binomen, and comprises two Latin words, the first denoting the genus and the second denoting the species.  The scientific name of a subspecies is formed slightly differently in the different nomenclature codes. In zoology, under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), the scientific name of a subspecies is termed a trinomen, and comprises three words, namely the binomen followed by the name of the subspecies.  For example, the binomen for the leopard is Panthera pardus. The trinomen Panthera pardus fusca denotes a subspecies, the Indian leopard.  All components of the trinomen are written in italics. 
In botany, subspecies is one of many ranks below that of species, such as variety, subvariety, form, and subform. To identify the rank, the subspecific name must be preceded by "subspecies" (which can be abbreviated to "subsp." or "ssp."), as in Schoenoplectus californicus subsp. tatora. 
In bacteriology, the only rank below species that is regulated explicitly by the code of nomenclature is subspecies, but infrasubspecific taxa are extremely important in bacteriology; Appendix 10 of the code lays out some recommendations that are intended to encourage uniformity in describing such taxa. Names published before 1992 in the rank of variety are taken to be names of subspecies  (see International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes ). As in botany, subspecies is conventionally abbreviated as "subsp.", and is used in the scientific name: Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii. 
In zoological nomenclature, when a species is split into subspecies, the originally described population is retained as the "nominotypical subspecies"  or "nominate subspecies", which repeats the same name as the species. For example, Motacilla alba alba (often abbreviated M. a. alba) is the nominotypical subspecies of the white wagtail (Motacilla alba).
The subspecies name that repeats the species name is referred to in botanical nomenclature as the subspecies "autonym", and the subspecific taxon as the "autonymous subspecies". 
When zoologists disagree over whether a certain population is a subspecies or a full species, the species name may be written in parentheses. Thus Larus (argentatus) smithsonianus means the American herring gull; the notation within the parentheses means that some consider it a subspecies of a larger herring gull species and therefore call it Larus argentatus smithsonianus, while others consider it a full species and therefore call it Larus smithsonianus (and the user of the notation is not taking a position).[ citation needed ]
A subspecies is a taxonomic rank below species – the only such rank recognized in the zoological code,  and one of three main ranks below species in the botanical code.  When geographically separate populations of a species exhibit recognizable phenotypic differences, biologists may identify these as separate subspecies; a subspecies is a recognized local variant of a species.  Botanists and mycologists have the choice of ranks lower than subspecies, such as variety (varietas) or form (forma), to recognize smaller differences between populations. 
In biological terms, rather than in relation to nomenclature, a polytypic species has two or more genetically and phenotypically divergent subspecies, races, or more generally speaking, populations that differ from each other so that a separate description is warranted.  These distinct groups do not interbreed as they are isolated from another, but they can interbreed and have fertile offspring, e.g. in captivity. These subspecies, races, or populations, are usually described and named by zoologists, botanists and microbiologists.[ citation needed ]
In a monotypic species, all populations exhibit the same genetic and phenotypical characteristics. Monotypic species can occur in several ways:[ citation needed ]
In biology, taxonomy is the scientific study of naming, defining (circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms based on shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped into taxa and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a more inclusive group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is regarded as the founder of the current system of taxonomy, as he developed a ranked system known as Linnaean taxonomy for categorizing organisms and binomial nomenclature for naming organisms.
In taxonomy, binomial nomenclature, also called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name, a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; more informally it is also historically called a Latin name.
The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific naming of organisms treated as animals. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. The rules principally regulate:
In biology, a tribe is a taxonomic rank above genus, but below family and subfamily. It is sometimes subdivided into subtribes. By convention, all taxonomic ranks from genus upwards are capitalized, including both tribe and subtribe.
In botanical nomenclature, variety is a taxonomic rank below that of species and subspecies, but above that of form. As such, it gets a three-part infraspecific name. It is sometimes recommended that the subspecies rank should be used to recognize geographic distinctiveness, whereas the variety rank is appropriate if the taxon is seen throughout the geographic range of the species.
In biology, trinomial nomenclature refers to names for taxa below the rank of species. These names have three parts. The usage is different in zoology and botany.
In zoological nomenclature, a type species is the species name with which the name of a genus or subgenus is considered to be permanently taxonomically associated, i.e., the species that contains the biological type specimen(s). A similar concept is used for suprageneric groups and called a type genus.
In botanical nomenclature, a form is one of the "secondary" taxonomic ranks, below that of variety, which in turn is below that of species; it is an infraspecific taxon. If more than three ranks are listed in describing a taxon, the "classification" is being specified, but only three parts make up the "name" of the taxon: a genus name, a specific epithet, and an infraspecific epithet.
In biology, a ring species is a connected series of neighbouring populations, each of which interbreeds with closely sited related populations, but for which there exist at least two "end" populations in the series, which are too distantly related to interbreed, though there is a potential gene flow between each "linked" population and the next. Such non-breeding, though genetically connected, "end" populations may co-exist in the same region (sympatry) thus closing a "ring". The German term Rassenkreis, meaning a circle of races, is also used.
A botanical name is a formal scientific name conforming to the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) and, if it concerns a plant cultigen, the additional cultivar or Group epithets must conform to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). The code of nomenclature covers "all organisms traditionally treated as algae, fungi, or plants, whether fossil or non-fossil, including blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), chytrids, oomycetes, slime moulds and photosynthetic protists with their taxonomically related non-photosynthetic groups ."
In biological taxonomy, race is an informal rank in the taxonomic hierarchy for which various definitions exist. Sometimes it is used to denote a level below that of subspecies, while at other times it is used as a synonym for subspecies. It has been used as a higher rank than strain, with several strains making up one race. Races may be genetically distinct populations of individuals within the same species, or they may be defined in other ways, e.g. geographically, or physiologically. Genetic isolation between races is not complete, but genetic differences may have accumulated that are not (yet) sufficient to separate species.
In biology, a species complex is a group of closely related organisms that are so similar in appearance and other features that the boundaries between them are often unclear. The taxa in the complex may be able to hybridize readily with each other, further blurring any distinctions. Terms that are sometimes used synonymously but have more precise meanings are cryptic species for two or more species hidden under one species name, sibling species for two species that are each other's closest relative, and species flock for a group of closely related species that live in the same habitat. As informal taxonomic ranks, species group, species aggregate, macrospecies, and superspecies are also in use.
In botany, an infraspecific name is the scientific name for any taxon below the rank of species, i.e. an infraspecific taxon or infraspecies. The scientific names of botanical taxa are regulated by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). This specifies a 'three part name' for infraspecific taxa, plus a 'connecting term' to indicate the rank of the name. An example of such a name is Astrophytum myriostigma subvar. glabrum, the name of a subvariety of the species Astrophytum myriostigma.
In zoological nomenclature, the specific name is the second part within the scientific name of a species. The first part of the name of a species is the name of the genus or the generic name. The rules and regulations governing the giving of a new species name are explained in the article species description. For example, the scientific name for humans is Homo sapiens, which is the species name, consisting of two names: Homo is the "generic name" and sapiens is the "specific name".
In botanical nomenclature, author citation is the way of citing the person or group of people who validly published a botanical name, i.e. who first published the name while fulfilling the formal requirements as specified by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). In cases where a species is no longer in its original generic placement, both the authority for the original genus placement and that for the new combination are given.
In zoology, the word "form" or forma is a strictly informal term that is sometimes used to describe organisms. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature the term has no standing. In other words, although form names are Latin, and are sometimes wrongly appended to a binomial name, in a zoological context, forms have no taxonomic significance at all.
The Botanical and Zoological Codes of nomenclature treat the concept of synonymy differently.
In biological classification, taxonomic rank is the relative level of a group of organisms in an ancestral or hereditary hierarchy. A common system consists of species, genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom, domain. While older approaches to taxonomic classification were phenomenological, forming groups on the basis of similarities in appearance, organic structure and behaviour, methods based on genetic analysis have opened the road to cladistics.
In zoology, the principle of coordination is one of the guiding principles of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
This is a list of terms and symbols used in scientific names for organisms, and in describing the names. For proper parts of the names themselves, see List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names. Note that many of the abbreviations are used with or without a stop.