I am creating a python script where I am trying to iterate over point feature class. I want to create seperate Feature classes from each individual day. So select daynumber and then export it to a new FC with an unique daynumber as name.

I was unable to find my answer online. So I decided to ask my question here.

ArcGIS 10.2

My script looks as follows:

test1 = "D:\\Mijn_Doc\\Test_Geodatabase.gd\\test1"
dayno = 2618
with test1 as rows:
    for row in rows:
        query = '"daynumber = '+ str(dayno) + '"'
        arcpy.Select_analysis(test1, 'D:\\Mijn_Doc\\Test_Geodatabase.gdb\\select'+str(dayno), query)
    dayno +=1

Gives the following error:

arcgisscripting.ExecuteError: ERROR 000358: Invalid expression "daynumber = 2618" Failed to execute (Select)

The selection looks fine, If I build it in Model Builder and export it to a Python script the expression looks the same as it looks in this Error message.

  • 4
    A lot of your code looks wrong. For example, the extension to the geodatabase for your test1 variable should be .gdb, not .gd. You then appear to want to be performing a search curosor, as you are currently attempting a with statement on a string. This will throw an error. I'd look further into cursors. There should be plenty of examples here and on esri documentation resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//… Jan 12, 2015 at 23:52
  • 1
    I agree with Emil. See the code sample on that page which includes with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(fc, fields) as cursor: to get started. Jan 12, 2015 at 23:59
  • 1
    Rather than exporting a model to Python script, as a means to try and get syntax right, I think it is always better to run tools from their dialog and then go to Geoprocessing | Results to Copy As Python Snippet.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 13, 2015 at 1:35
  • 1
    That's a good technique @PolyGeo, that way you only get working code! Jan 13, 2015 at 1:49

4 Answers 4


ERROR 000358 is 'the expression is not valid', this doesn't help much. I think though it's similar to Runtime error : ERROR 000358: Invalid expression using SelectLayerByAttribute in ArcPy? where the user was attempting to select a string field populated with numbers without quoting the number.

Your SQL query should be

"daynumber = '"+ str(dayno) + "'"

which when unquoted becomes:

daynumber = '2618'

The field name doesn't need to be quoted or bracketed like in 'select by attributes'; the only time that I've found the field name needs to get special quotes or brackets is in field calculator.

I'm not sure about with test1 as rows:, surely that should be with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(test1) as rows: but it's confusing what you're trying to do in the snippet. You're iterating through rows but then performing a select against the data...


Why the cursor?

Just something simple like this will work and be clean:

arcpy.env.workspace = r'C:\ArcGIS\Default.gdb'
for dayno in xrange(2618, 2630, 1):
    arcpy.Select_analysis(test1, "{0}_{1}".format(selecttest, dayno), """daynumber = '{0}'""".format(dayno))
  • Beautiful JGP! I removed the single quotes in the select expression: """daynumber = {0}""" and it run smoothly.
    – Martijn
    Jan 17, 2015 at 11:31

For the SQL, you have a double quote in the wrong spot.


query = '"daynumber" = '+ str(dayno)


Thanks for the help everybody.

I followed some of your advises and in the end this was the (working) script I was looking for:

dayno = 2618
with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(test1, ('daynumber',)) as cursor:
for row in cursor:
    query = 'daynumber=%s' % dayno
    if dayno > 2630:
        arcpy.Select_analysis(test1, selecttest + str(dayno), query)
        dayno +=1

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