Species is a term used to split various unique creatures into separate groups. Numerous species populate Azeroth including "orcs, humans, gnomes, trolls, scorpids and murlocs, among many others". Generations of offspring from the interfertile parents of two different species can also exist. Many races can interbreed including humans, high elves,night elves, ogres, orcs, and draenei — producing races like half-elves, half-night elves, half-ogres, half-human half-ogres, and half-draenei. These offspring are often called half-breeds.
Species is often used interchangeably with race, although this is not always the case (not all races are necessarily unique species).
Unfortunately, Blizzard is not always consistent on how they use the terms. Sometimes they use the term '"race" when they mean the biological definition of "species". This has led to conflicts between sources, where one source says blood elves and high elves are the same "biological race" ("biological species" would have been a more proper use of words in that syntax), while most sources say they are separate races (culturally and biologically).
Humans are the dominant (as in “most obvious”) intelligent species on Azeroth, but they are by no means alone. Elves, dwarves, tauren, imports such as orcs, and so on all share the world with humanity. In some cases, such races have proven far more influential than humanity over the long term.
For example, "since the beginning of the First War, orcs have interbred with a number of species" that vary largely in appearance; mostly with humans, "but half-ogres and half-draenei are not unheard of".
Known lore "species"
This is a list of sapient "species" established in lore. Additionally, each grouping within the same group, such as various types of dwarves, elves, or trolls, are considered separate species/race or subspecies/subrace depending on the source.
- Draenei subspecies can include:
- Dwarf subspecies can include:
- Elf subspecies can include:
- Humans could be considered a subspecies of the Vrykul.
- Orc subspecies include:
- Tauren subspecies can include:
- The various types of trolls are usually considered separate subspecies, though occasionally separate species. The terms appear to be interchangeable to Blizzard.
- Aesir and Vanir are considered two of the titan's various subspecies.