Taxon Match Tool

User Manual

  1. Prepare your species list before matching. For example create columns for each taxon rank (incl. sub, super and infra ranks) and list the species in rows. Remove additional information that is not part of the species name, e.g. erase all notations of sp., cfr., larvae, indet., etc.. See examples below.

  2. Click on "choose file" to upload your file. This will open the file explorer on your PC.

  3. Select the way you have delimited your taxon names. When you use an MS Excel sheet, this is selected automatically. Use the flag box to indicate whether your first row contains the column names or not.

  4. Use the flag box "authority" when you have the authority (=author(s), date) in a separate column and you want to include this as a criterium to find exact matches.
    Use the flag box "accepted taxa" when you would like the system to provide you with the accepted name in case your name is an unaccepted variant.

  5. With the "Match up to" drop-down list you can define to what level in the classification you want to match your list with. For example if your taxon list includes columns for higher ranks such as Class, Order, Family, Genus etc. you can includes these in the match query. In this way you can verify your own classification.

    If you only have one column with taxon names, so no classification, then you indicate match up to "ScientificName". When the taxon name has a homonym, you will be able to choose the right one from a pick list. In the example below the flag box "match to accepted taxon" is flagged off. In the second example this is not the case and you can see that there is no drop-down list because the two possible matches are both unaccepted names.

    Actually it is often better that you don't include the authority in the match query, because it will require the exact same spelling of it and hence finding a match will be more difficult. The following example didn't have the publication date and therefore no match was found.

    When you click on you will get the following result in e.g. Excel.

    Note that the column "Qualitystatus" indicates whether the name in WoRMS has been validated by an expert or not.

  6. To avoid ambiguous matches with homonyms, you can limit your match query to a particular higher taxon, e.g. only within Porifera, Copepoda, etc.. Enter the first characters of the taxon name and use the pick-list.

  7. Finally, before you click on also indicate in the output boxes which data you would like the system to return. Aphia ID is the unique identifier of WoRMS; TSN is the unique identifier of ITIS; the valid names option lists the valid names in a separate column (this is important when your list includes unaccepted names or spelling variations). You can also ask to receive the full classification, authority and quality status flags. The output format is in txt, xls or SGML.


The following examples all contain species that are in WoRMS, but depending on what data you include and what options you select, you will get different results (green are matches, red are no matches).

Example 1

Selected options: Match up to "ScientificNamewithAuthor". Note, don't forget to indicate the column that has the "ScientificNamewithAuthor". The result is the following.

Example 2

Selected options: Match authority = YES and Match up to "Family". The result is the following.

Example 3

Selected options: Match up to "Family". The result is the following.