Limit sources for taxon-page photos?

I’m observing since some time that there are pictures added to taxon-pages that are not correctly identified (mostly from flickr or wikimedia), I have deleted them but after some time those are added again, sometimes even as first picture (e.g. Ancistrus temmickii, Hypostomus plecostomus).
Is there any possibility to e.g. block the upload of flickr & wikimedia pictures for selected taxa and only allow iNat picture in research grade ?
There are several fish species that are regularly sold under wrong names in the pet trade and therefore lots of people known them with a wrong name. However, these are certainly not more than a few dozen.


I think it would be helpful if the option to choose an image from Flickr or Wikipedia Commons was removed altogether, as, like OP said, these images are sometimes incorrectly identified and don’t add to the taxon assistance.


I disagree. I have used those platforms to add photos for taxon that had very few obs and/or poor photos on iNat.



There was a time when very few pictures were available on iNaturalist. Flickr and Wikipedia commons are still a good source for good photos. I think it now time to be able to annotate these photos and lock it (so that it can only be edited or deleted by a curator. Annotation may be useful to point out diagnostic characters, say male or female or juvenile flowers or animals.


I think it would be best that it could be handled differently for different taxa, there are definitely taxa (in my case Loricariidae & Callichthyidae) for which there are no good representative pictures available and any source would be ok. In these cases the risk is low that users often upload wrongly identified pictures because there are no observations here or no pictures available at flickr, wikimedia etc. as well.
However, there are some few species for which pictures are already available here, but these fish names are widely used in the pet trade for other species and in the internet (and sometimes also in print media) >90% of the pictures are wrongly labeled, sometimes even at fishbase (most in my focus area meanwhile corrected)…

This is my main concern, I would like iNat to be better in terms of picture quality than “the internet”, I hate to see that the representative picture of a fish taxon is showing a wrong fish ;-).
As said the number of these problematic taxa is not very high but those are probably among the ones most often viewed because the species names are wildly used and many think that they are keeping them…

I removed the wrong pictures ~1 year ago, ~3 months ago & ~2-3 weeks ago and yesterday there were again wrongly identified ones added, so it seems kind of difficult to keep the set of taxon pictures clean by manually deleting the wrong ones.

If there is a technical solution for this I would be willing to support like:

  • providing a list of problematic taxa
  • supporting in the release/checking process of picture upload requests of these “upload restricted” taxa
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Unless another user is going in and reverting the images, that sounds like a bug to me. Can you link to which picture(s) are incorrectly identified and removed and which picture(s) you are trying to replace them with?

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It’s not always exactly the same pictures that are re-appearing, sometimes yes, sometimes other (new) pictures appear which are wrongly identified.
For Ancistrus temminckii for instance the Wikimedia Commons picture are not correctly identified and I have removed them some days ago. For Hypostomus plecostomus it seems like more or less all Flickr pictures are wrongly identified, I have deleted some of them several times as far as I can remember (e.g. this one:, but I have the impression that it’s not caused by a bug but manual uploads from these sources as the set of pictures is different every time…

I see some good ideas here. Either somehow locking or restricting who can change photos for problematic taxa. Or if there was some way to reject a certain photo from being added again.

There are tons of insects misidentified by overambitious amateur photographers on Flickr, so I’d really prefer to deprecate those. I think I’ve had to replace a couple dozen incorrect taxon photos here that had been imported from there by unwitting users. My feeling is that if there isn’t a good picture of a species on iNat by now (not talking about 10 years ago when iNat was just starting out), there probably aren’t also reputable pictures of it on Flickr or Wikimedia. At least locally-sourced photos can have their ID improved. Also, I’m not sure you want to saddle curators with more work by locking taxon photos.


Excuse me but who “borrows” pictures from internet and upload as their observations? Those should be blocked immediately. A simple check (by googling the photo) could be done automatically and when it occurs on dodgy sites simply be returned to the observer with a red flag and a warning. Maybe a chance to redo it after a comment, it might be you private flickr account that it was uploded to first.

This forum topic is referring to the example photos displayed on the taxon pages (informational pages about species and other taxa). Not photos used on observations.

Is it ok to add drawings from the original species ID references to highlight a identifying feature? Assuming that the drawings are already public domain, eg from1870 paper.

Sure - you can add those to Wikimedia Commons if they meet the licensing requirements, and then you can select that as the photo source in the dropdown:


iNaturalist observations should be your personal observations.

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