Automated Material Examined

The AutoMatEx web site

Terms of use. Any publication resulting from use of this software should cite in the methods section “Material examined sections of species descriptions were prepared using AUTOMATEX (Brown 2013)”, or something similar.

The literature citation is:

Brown, B.V. 2013. Automating the "Material examined" section of taxonomic papers to speed up species descriptions. Zootaxa, 3683: 297-299.


Construct an EXCEL spreadsheet or download the template on this site. Make sure you save it as Comma Separated Values (CSV) format.

The 17 fields are:

Barcode. REQUIRED, at least for the first record. Cell A2 has to have something in it- put a "1" if nothing else. This is the place for globally unique numbers for the specimens, such as "LACM ENT 134115".

Male or female. REQUIRED. Give the number of male or female specimens examined. If these fields are blank, the program will not work, so if you use the program in a group in which gender is not listed, just enter one or the other and fix later.

Country. REQUIRED. The program will both capitalize and bold the country names for easier viewing in long lists.

State/province. If not given, then “[no state]” is inserted. The program will bold this field for easier viewing in long lists. I recommend that the dataset be edited to replace blank “state” fields with their correct values and AutoMatEx be rerun.

Locality. Can include County, and any other directional information. Those who wish to organize their records by County should put the county information first, so it is alphabetized. No limit on length.

Latitude. Decimal degrees required (i.e., 3.5°, not 3°30’); latitudes in the southern hemisphere are negative (e.g., 5.5 deg south should be given as "-5.5" as are longitudes in the western hemisphere.

Longitude. As for latitude.

Elevation. Units are meters.

Date. A single field that can hold ranges, such as "1-10.vii.2010". If not given, then “[no date]” is inserted.

Sdate. Starting date for a collecting event with a range. In the example under "Date", the starting date would be "1.vii.2010".

Edate. Ending date; as for Sdate.

Collector. In any format.

Trap. Any collecting method used.

Ownership. Place for the coden of the collection to which the specimen belongs, e.g., "LACM" or "AMNH".

Name. Genus, species, Author. Optional¸ unless more than one species is included.

Holotype. Optional. If the text "HT" (upper case) is entered in this column for one of the records, that record is treated as a holotype specimen and all other specimens are treated as paratypes. If you don't want this, leave out the HT and just format as "Material examined". Currently, there is no provision to have holotype, paratypes, and other material examined for a single species (although I might add this if it is requested).

Follow the instructions to upload your file, then follow the instructions on the screens. If it is not self-explanatory, or if you have any problems, let me know by email ( so I can improve it.