Create the Host Taxon ID Field

The Host Taxon ID field is used to document the taxon of a collection object’s host. Host Taxon ID should NOT be used if the host will be cataloged in the database as well. If both the host and the related specimen are to be cataloged, an Object Relationship should be created instead of using a Host Taxon ID field.

There are two parts to creating a Host Taxon ID field; creating the Host Taxon relationship and adding the field to the form.

To Create the Host Taxon Relationship:

  1. In Specify, go to System in the Menu Bar at the top of the screen and select Edit Collection Rel… from the drop down menu.

The Collection Relationship Tool window will appear.

  1. In the Source box, select the collection with specimens that were hosted.

In the Destination box, select the collection that has the host taxon tree.
3) Once these two boxes have collections selected, the tools under the middle box will become available. Click the green plus to create a new relationship.

  1. In the Edit Collection Relationships window that appears, enter a name for the relationship. (You may want to copy the name of the relationship because you will need it in the next part of the process.) Click OK.

  1. The new relationship will appear in the Relationships box.

  1. Click Close.

To Add the Host Taxon Field to the Form:

Specify highly recommends that any form changes be made by Specify unless you are very familiar with XML code. To request that Host Taxon ID be added to your forms, contact Specify at

If you decide to add the host taxon field to the form yourself, you will have to be familiar with XML code. This documentation will only describe how to add the field to the Collecting Event Attribute subform. It will not describe how to manipulate the form system or add the Collecting Event Attribute. For more information on form customization contact Specify.

  1. Using a text editor, open the xml views file in the manager directory of the appropriate discipline in the config directory. Always use the main collection discipline views file. (In this example, we are working with a plant collection so we will use the botany directory.)

  1. Find the collectingEventAttribute viewdef in the file. If it is not in the file already, you will have to add the collectingEventAttribute view and viewdef. (For instructions on adding a subform to a form contact Specify.)

  2. Add the following lines to the collectingEventAttribute fields:

<cell type="label" labelfor="55" label="Plant Host"/>
<cell type="field" id="55" uitype="plugin" name="this" initialize="name=HostTaxonPlugin;relname=PlantHost"/>
  1. Replace the “PlantHost” portion of the line (highlighted above) with the name you gave the relationship in Specify when it was created in the Collection Relationship tool. The names must match exactly for the field to work.

  2. Save the change.

  3. Import the form to the Collection level of the database in Specify