I went to add some taxon photos and got a message at 12 saying I couldn’t add any more. This feels like a rather small limit, especially for variable species, e.g. Callosciurus finlaysonii (subspecies images shown below).
Is it necessary to show every morph and subspecies?
12 is admittedly somewhat arbitrary, but I think it covers most cases. The purpose of taxon photos is to provide a quick look at what the species looks like. Usually we only show one, the first, and sometimes maybe 3, with more if people want to scroll, but the emphasis is on quick. 12 seems like enough to show different features and variations for most species. I don’t think we need to show every single color variant of every single species. If folks want that level of detail they should use different tools, like observation search and https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/45949-Callosciurus-finlaysonii/browse_photos. IMO, 12 forces people to be selective in which photos they choose and limits the compulsive instincts of some folks who want to add every single variation of oak leaf.
And, as Cassi mentioned, excessive amounts of taxon photos do cause some technical problems for us. Granted, this is not a particularly bright solution to the technical problem. A better solution would be to completely redesign our API to allow clients more control over how much data they get back, and to re-engineer our apps to make smarter use of memory, but both of those solutions are a long way out, and people are suffering crashes due to massive API responses right now.
I would be less likely to add a large number of taxon photos if the old way of displaying them were brought back: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/visual-glitch-with-default-photos-on-taxon-pages/1687