Ways to sort species photos

I hope this leads to a feature request, but I haven’t figured out how this should work.

There are a number of creatures that can have markedly different appearance, whether it is behavior related, age, or simply different color morphs. For instance, many fish have night time sleeping colors that are quite different from the daytime. Or nuptial colors shown during courtship. Some have additional age-related colors besides juvenile and adult. Some have an intermediate pattern which is not like the juvenile or adult. In some species, older individuals look different from typical adults. Examples of color morphs include female tiger swallowtails who can appear all dark mimicking Pipevine Swallowtails, or tree squirrels that sometimes come in an all-black color.

I’m looking for a consistent way to label these, so that later one can search for observations that show these variations. For instance, when viewing “More photos…” from the species page, you can use the “Life Stage” pull-down to filter based on that annotation. Sometimes when trying to identify something or answer a question, I want to check what the nuptial coloration of a certain species looks like. It’s never been easy to find pictures like that through Google, but it seems like iNat should be able to do it.

Are annotations the only way these photos can currently be filtered? There are already multiple observation fields that could be used, but they are problematic because they aren’t standardized. Do you look for “Courtship behavior”, “Behavior: courtship”, or some other variation?

I feel like I want to introduce another annotation, but am not sure what makes sense and is widely applicable to many organisms. Any ideas?


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Is there an existing observation field that would work, or would you really rather it be an annotation?

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I asked if there is any way to filter observation photos besides annotations to find out if we can use observation fields to do this. Maybe that turns out to be the feature request from this, but it will still leave the issue of deciding which observation fields to use for this.

You can open all observations with the current observation field or one of its options if you want to filter a group of photos.

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So I just tried searching by observation field. While it is possible, it’s less than ideal for this. You have to find an observation with the field in question, search for all observations with that field, then filter them by the species you are interested in. It would make more sense if you could initiate the search from the species page.

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