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Encyclopedia > Subspecies

In zoology, as in other branches of biology, subspecies is the rank immediately subordinate to a species. Image File history File links Information. ... Poster art for original Subspecies film] Subspecies is a series of Full Moon Pictures horror films that was release in the 1990s. ... Zoology (rarely spelled zoölogy) is the biological discipline which involves the study of non-human animals. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...

Contents

Nomenclature

In zoology, the scientific name of a subspecies is the binomen followed immediately by a subspecific name, e.g. Homo sapiens sapiens. The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th edition, 2000) does not attempt to codify any "infrasubspecific entities" (e.g. human races or pet breeds). In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal system of naming species. ... The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a set of rules in zoology that have one fundamental aim: to provide the maximum universality and continuity in classifying all animals according to taxonomic judgment. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... For other uses, see Race (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Residential pets be merged into this article or section. ... A breed is a domesticated subspecies or infrasubspecies of an animal. ...


If there is a need for a subspecific taxon in animal nomenclature, a trinomen may be described for a subspecies. Many other "typical specimens" may be described, but these should not be considered as being absolute, unconditional or categorical. These forms have no official status, though they may be useful in describing altitudinal or geographical clines. A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a grouping of organisms (named or unnamed). ... In zoology, a trinomen, or trinominal name, refers to the name of a subspecies. ... In population genetics, a cline is a gradual change of a character or feature (phenotype) in a species over a geographical area, often as a result of environmental heterogeneity. ...


A subspecies indicated by the repetition of the specific name is known as the nominate subspecies. Thus Motacilla alba alba is the nominate subspecies of White Wagtail (Motacilla alba). In scientific papers, subspecies is commonly abbreviated subsp. or ssp. — for example, White Wagtail ssp. yarrellii, which is the same as the Pied Wagtail. Binomial name Motacilla alba Linnaeus, 1758 The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. ... Binomial name Motacilla alba Linnaeus, 1758 The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. ...


Maybe the best known examples are:

Note: Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... Dingo range Breed standards (external link) ANKC The dingo (plural dingoes or dingos) or warrigal, Canis lupus dingo, is a type of wild dog, probably descended from the Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes). ... Binomial name Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms Felis lybica invalid junior synonym The cat (or domestic cat, house cat) is a small carnivorous mammal. ... Trinomial name Felis silvestris libyca Forster, 1770 The African wild cat or desert cat (Felis silvestris libyca) is a subspecies of the wild cat (). It was first domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians at least 4,000 years ago, and is generally believed to be the ancestor of the domestic cat. ...

In botanical nomenclature, the ICBN prescribes a three part name (ternary name) for any taxon below the rank of species. ... The International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria governs the scientific names for bacteria. ...

Criteria

Members of one subspecies differ morphologically from members of other subspecies of the species. Subspecies are defined in relation to species. It is not possible to understand the concept of a subspecies without first grasping what a species is. In the context of large living organisms like trees, flowers, birds, fish and humans, a species can be defined as a distinct and recognisable group that satisfies two conditions: The term morphology in biology refers to the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern) of an organism or taxon and its component parts. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ...

  1. Members of the group are reliably distinguishable from members of other groups. The distinction can be made in any of a wide number of ways, such as: differently shaped leaves, a different number of primary wing feathers, a particular ritual breeding behaviour, relative size of certain bones, different DNA sequences, and so on. There is no set minimum 'amount of difference': the only criterion is that the difference be reliably discernable. In practice, however, very small differences tend to be ignored.
  2. The flow of genetic material between the group and other groups is small and can be expected to remain so because even if the two groups were to be placed together they would not interbreed to any great extent.

Note the key qualifier above: to be regarded as different groups rather than as a single varied group, the difference must be distinct, not simply a matter of continuously varying degree. If, for example, the population in question is a type of frog and the distinction between two groups is that individuals living upstream are generally white, while those found in the lowlands are black, then they are classified as different groups if the frogs in the intermediate area tend to be either black or white, but a single, varied group if the intermediate population becomes gradually darker as one moves downstream. The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living organisms. ... Distribution of frogs (in black) Suborders Archaeobatrachia Mesobatrachia Neobatrachia - List of Anuran families The frogness babe is an amphibian in the order Anura (meaning tail-less from Greek an-, without + oura, tail), formerly referred to as Salientia (Latin saltare, to jump). ...


This is not an arbitrary condition. A gradual change, called a cline, is clear evidence of substantial gene flow between two populations. A sharp boundary between black and white, or a relatively small and stable hybrid zone, on the other hand, shows that the two populations do not interbreed to any great extent and are indeed separate species. Their classification as separate species or as subspecies, however, depends on why they do not interbreed.


If the two groups do not interbreed because of something intrinsic to their genetic make-up (perhaps black frogs do not find white frogs sexually attractive, or they breed at different times of year) then they are different species.


If, on the other hand, the two groups would interbreed freely provided only that some external barrier was removed (perhaps there is a waterfall too high for frogs to scale, or the populations are far distant from one another) then they are subspecies. Other factors include differences in mating behavior or time and ecological preferences such as soil content.


Note that the distinction between a species and a subspecies depends only on the likelihood that in the absence of external barriers the two populations would merge back into a single, genetically unified population. It has nothing to do with 'how different' the two groups appear to be to the human observer.


As knowledge of a particular group increases, its categorisation may need to be re-assessed. The Rock Pipit was formerly classed as a subspecies of Water Pipit, but is now recognised to be a full species. For an example of a subspecies, see Pied Wagtail. Binomial name Anthus petrosus (Montagu, 1798) The Rock Pipit, Anthus petrosus, is a small passerine bird which breeds on rocky coasts of western Europe northwards from Brittany. ... Binomial name Anthus spinoletta (Linnaeus, 1758) The Water Pipit, Anthus spinoletta, is a small passerine bird which breeds in the mountains of southern Europe and southern temperate Asia across to China. ... Binomial name Motacilla alba Linnaeus, 1758 The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. ...


Monotypic and polytypic species

A monotypic species has no races, or rather one race comprising the whole species. Monotypic species can occur in several ways:

  • All members of the species are very similar and cannot be sensibly divided into biologically significant subcategories.
  • The individuals vary considerably but the variation is essentially random and largely meaningless so far as genetic transmission of these variations is concerned.
  • The variation among individuals is noticeable and follows a pattern, but there are no clear dividing lines among separate groups: they fade imperceptibly into one another. Such clinal variation always indicates substantial gene flow among the apparently separate groups that make up the population(s). Populations that have a steady, substantial gene flow among them are likely to represent a monotypic species even when a fair degree of genetic variation is obvious.

A polytypic species has two or more races or subspecies. These are separate groups that are clearly distinct from one another and do not generally interbreed (although there may be a relatively narrow hybridization zone), but which would interbreed freely if given the chance to do so. Note that groups which would not interbreed freely, even if brought together such that they had the opportunity to do so, are not races: they are separate species. In population genetics, a cline is a gradual change of a character or feature (phenotype) in a species over a geographical area, often as a result of environmental heterogeneity. ... In population genetics, gene flow (also known as gene migration) is the transfer of alleles of genes from one population to another. ...


See also

In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal system of naming species. ... In zoology, a color phase of an animal species is a group with similar coloring and markings. ... // This article is about a biological term. ... RACE, 5 RACE or Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends, is a molecular biology technique used to amplify the 5 ends of cDNA by a special PCR reaction. ... This Osteospermum Pink Whirls is a successful cultivar. ... A plant variety is a legal term, following the UPOV Convention. ... A breed is a domesticated subspecies or infrasubspecies of an animal. ... In biology, Strain can be used two ways. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Landrace refers to a race of animals or plants ideally suited for the land (environment) in which they live and, in some cases, work; they often develop naturally with minimal assistance or guidance from humans (or from humans using traditional rather than modern breeding methods), hence are usually older, less...

References

External links

Taxonomic ranks
v  d  e
Domain or Magnorder
Superkingdom Superphylum/Superdivision Superclass Superorder Superfamily Superspecies
Kingdom Phylum/Division Class Order Family Tribe Genus Species
Subkingdom Subphylum Subclass Cohort Suborder Subfamily Subtribe Subgenus Subspecies
Branch Infraphylum Infraclass Legion Infraorder Infraspecies
Microphylum Parvclass Parvorder
Look up subspecies in
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Subspecies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (783 words)
In zoology, the scientific name of a subspecies is the binomen followed immediately by a subspecific name, e.g.
A subspecies indicated by the repetition of the specific name is known as the nominate subspecies.
Thus Motacilla alba alba is the nominate subspecies of White Wagtail, Motacilla alba.
International Wolf Center Intermediate Wolf Information (1089 words)
A subspecies is a group of individuals within a species that share a geographic location and may have some unique physical characteristics.
Since the predominant color phase of this subspecies is a creamy white, which camouflages it in snowy surroundings, it is often called the white wolf.
This subspecies is now believed extinct in the wild, but may be represented in captivity or the reintroduced population in North Carolina.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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