GIFs as representative icon for species

Today when I was trying to ID a hopper nymph, one of the species representative icons was a GIF (Vanduzea arquata). GIFs are fun for observations, but as representative icons, not so much. I am not able to focus on a moving image and had to drill down until I found a still image to use for identification purposes.
Has this been discussed here before, please?


Change the taxon photo. You can rearrange them so the GIF comes after 6 still and useful images. (I loath moving stuff on my screen)


Arghghggh, moving images annoy the heck out of me. If iNat starts becoming nature tiktok, I’ll be out.


I don’t have the expertise or time to do that.
I was hoping for a ban on moving images for taxon photos. I may dream, but I may as well ask!

It is a simple process.

  1. Click the taxon name to go to the taxon home page.
  2. Under the photo you should see a button on the right that says “Curation”.
  3. Choose Edit Photos
  4. Drag the problem GIF file off the “Photos Chosen” box or rearrange them to move a proper photo into 1st (default) position
  5. Click Save Photos (on the bottom of the screen).

Problem solved.


I know how to change the photos, I do it with species I am personally familiar with. I’m not interested in playing iNat whack-a-mole with taxon photos. I am interested in the taxon photos being well-suited to quick perusal for identification purposes. For me, that means they need to be still photos.


Hmm… I up to now never ran in a GIF as taxon pic… Does not seem to be such a common issue that would take too much up of ones time to solve it once you run into it. If this half a minute appears to be too much of a hazzle then maybe the problem is not big enough?


Weird that it’s even allowed. iNat doesn’t host video due to memory constraints, but GIFs are often even more outsized in terms of memory use per length of time of the animation.

Seems that this is a loophole that should be closed.


oh that’s really cool, I didn’t realize just anyone could add photos to that! I was hoping someone would add some more helpful ones for small-flower pawpaws, lol, I didn’t realize I could just do it myself!


I frequently (make time to) edit taxon photos.

Blurry? Picture of people or dog, with taxon? Hand with taxon? Moved down out of sight.
Discussion on obs around distinguishing feature? Make sure that is clear on taxon pictures. Sort the pictures so the visible first few are all useful - flower, leaf, wide view, fruit - not 4 arty pictures of flowers.
Also the Why is there only ONE not very useful picture … add add add!

@tiwane prefers us not to use a collage in taxon photos. Same would apply to GIFs.
Staff does the techie stuff for us, and we observers and identifiers do the tidying up around the edges. Win win. I certainly gain by having better taxon pictures for my usage in future.


You might be best to open a Feature Request asking for animated GIFs not to be made available in the photo chooser for taxon photos, and link this discussion.

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I have done this. Seed heads of Uropappus lindleyi were constantly being misidentified as Achyrachaena mollis, because the default picture of U. lindleyi was the (generically dandelion-like) flowers, whereas that of A. mollis was the seed head. So, I changed the U. lindleyi default to the seed head, in hopes that people would see that it looks more like their observation than the A. mollis seed head.

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I totally agree with that :grinning:

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