A species is a group of organisms that are capable of interbreeding and producing viable offspring. In other words, members of the same species can reproduce with each other and produce offspring that are capable of reproducing in turn. Species are typically defined by shared physical and behavioral characteristics, as well as by genetic similarities.

Butterflies are a diverse group of insects, with thousands of known species. Each species of butterfly has its own unique set of physical and behavioral characteristics, which are the result of the genetic makeup of the species.

Within a species, it is common for there to be variation in physical and behavioral characteristics among individual members. This variation can be due to differences in genetics, as well as environmental factors. When the variation among individuals within a species is significant enough, it can be classified as a subspecies. A subspecies is a group of individuals within a species that is distinguished by specific physical and behavioral characteristics that set it apart from other members of the species.

For example, the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a species that is found throughout North and South America. Within this species, there are several recognized subspecies, such as the Danaus plexippus plexippus and the Danaus plexippus erippus, which are distinguished by differences in the patterns on their wings and other physical characteristics.

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