What guidelines should I follow when choosing taxon photos?

Modified on Wed, 10 Apr 2024 at 12:28 PM

As described here, any user can edit a taxon's photos. Taxon photos are the first images people see when they research a taxon, so photos that are helpful for identification should be prioritized. Here are some guidelines for choosing appropriate taxon photos:


  • The default (first) photo should be clear and legible even at small sizes because it’s shown in reduced size on observation pages, lists, in the mobile app, and elsewhere.

  • Photos should be clear and show diagnostic features of the taxon.

  • Photos should show as much morphological and phenological variety required for identification (e.g. life stage, sexual dimorphism, plant phenology) in as few photos as possible.

  • Blurry or unclear photos are better than no photos at all. If the only available photos are not clear, it’s fine to use them.


As of February 15th, 2023, changes to taxon photos are now recorded publicly on the taxon’s history page. If there are repeated changes, please flag the taxon and tag the users involved in the changes to have a discussion. Staff may lock a taxon’s photos in the event of an unresolved edit war.



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