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 vulgariscrassa.
- ‘Japan's Iriomote cat was recently demoted from a distinct species to an island subspecies of leopard cat.’
- ‘For the data analysis, subspecies and varieties were treated as full species.’
- ‘You can have subspecies, but humans are clearly not a subspecies of chimp.’
- ‘Should the subspecies be considered endangered, when the species itself is not?’
- ‘At the time, it was thought that all the subspecies were separated geographically, at least on the breeding grounds if not entirely in winter.’
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.