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A taxonomic level of natural history classification. It describes a group of organisms similar in essential features, capable of mating* with members of opposite sex to produce fertile offspring.

In nomenclature, the genus is generally capitalized; the species is in lower case.

* Excluding infertile individuals of the species.

It may also be used in reference to members of a class of molecules (i.e. reactive oxygen species).

More general terms


  1. Stedman's Medical Dictionary 27th ed, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1999