Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
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Photos and other visual content displayed on Antwiki are posted from files stored on the Antwiki webserver. To display an image you have on your computer on Antwiki you must first upload the file. Uploaded images are displayed on pages using some relatively easy to learn, but quite specific, syntax. This page explains how to upload and display image files.

If you have a specific image related task you need help with you can click on the appropriate heading in the table of contents to quickly find the specific help you need. If you have never added or edited images on a wiki site you may need to look over this entire page in order to get a good start on working with images.


You must have a user account to upload files or add an image to a page.

Image management in Antwiki follows Mediawiki and Mediawiki Commons standards. Much of the information on this page is copied or derived from Mediawiki Image Help and Images and other uploaded files. The purpose of this help page is to provide guidance for common Antwiki specific image-editing tasks. If you want to explore options that go beyond these specifics a good place to begin is to follow the previous two links.

File Attributes

Prior to uploading a file you should be aware of the following details about Antwiki image files.

File Format

Antwiki can accept uploads and display these image file formats:

  • jpeg
  • jpg
  • png
  • gif

File Size

Uploaded files cannot be larger than 20 MB.

Image Dimensions

There are a few considerations to keep in mind about the actual width and length of uploaded images.

  • The largest width or length of an uploaded file does not need to be more than 1,500 pixels.
  • There is no need to load large and small versions of a single image. Images can be scaled when they are added to an Antwiki page.
  • Images are typically displayed on a page at a size that is much smaller than the uploaded file. The original image can be viewed by clicking on the image.

File Name

There are no requirements concerning files names. Even so it can be helpful to use a name that provides some clue as to what the image is about. IMG_03597.jpg, for example, is not as informative as Anoplolepis-gracilipes-foraging.jpg.

You do not need to rename an image file prior to uploading. The uploading procedure provides an opportunity to select a file on your computer, e.g., IMG_03597.jpg, and either leave the file name the same or create a new name, e.g., Anoplolepis-gracilipes-foraging.jpg.

File Copyright

Please go the Antwiki Copyright page to learn what files can and cannot be uploaded and what kind of copyright license should be assigned to uploaded files.

Uploading Files

There are three main steps involved in uploading a file:

  • Prepare your file for uploading. The File Attributes section (above) provides details about what you need to consider before uploading.
  • Go to the Upload File page and fill in the appropriate fields in the entry boxes.
  • Click on the “Upload File” button at the bottom of the page.

If several images are to be uploaded (up to 10) an option is to use the Multiple Upload page rather than the single file upload listed above. This method offers fewer options than the single file upload method but may be more appropriate in some cases.

There is a link to the upload page on the left side, under the Toolbox heading, on every Antwiki page (you must be logged in to see the Toolbox heading and its associated links. Here is a screenshot of the Upload File Page followed by an explanation of what should be provided in each entry box:

The "upload file" page

Source Filename

This is the file you are uploading. Click the “Browse” button to open a window where you can navigate to and then select the image file you would like to upload.

Destination Filename

Leave this blank if you want the uploaded image to have the same name as the file you are uploading. If you do want to change the filename type the new name here. You can also rename the file after uploading by "moving" the file on The File Page.


The information entered here will be shown on the The File Page. This can include details like the person who took the photograph, the date it was taken, the geolocation, copyright information and more.

If you only plan to upload a few images and do not need to attach specimen/species information to them, you could leave this section blank. This would apply if, for example, you are uploading a photo of yourself to place on your editor page. If you want to include details about the image there are a few templates that allow you to consistently add and present descriptive information via the summary field. You can also add categories to your images in this field. Categories can help you to organize your images for your own use and to make it easier for others to locate your images.

Information Template

This template provides a way to present image metadata in a neatly organized way. You can include specimen information, the photographer's name, assign and display the copyright for the file and more. See the Information Template Help page to find out more.


Latitude and longitude coordinates can be entered as part of the description in the Information Template or they can be set off on their own. There are two templates that display geographic/GPS coordinates with a link to a map of the location. See the Geolocation Help to learn more.


Categories help organize content. See the Categories Help page to learn more about how categories work and how Antwiki suggests categorizing the images you upload.


Each editor is responsible for insuring images they upload can be shared on the web (Antwiki Copyright Guidelines). Do not upload any images that you do not have clear permission to use.

You can choose a license to apply to your content by using the drop down selection list provided on this section of the page. Alternatively, you can declare a copyright license in the summary field and leave this blank.


Most folks skip the "Upload options” checkboxes. You probably want to do the same, leaving the only remaining step to click the “Upload file” button at the bottom of the page. The file will be uploaded and you will see an Image File page. If you made any errors that cause the file upload process to fail the page will reload with a message about the problematic entry.

The File Page

Uploading an image creates a “file page” or “image description page" for the image. The page name consists of the file name and extension, prefixed with "File:" For example, the file “ants.jpg” would create a page named “File:ants.jpg”. The page name is also how the image is referenced when you want to display it on an Antwiki page.

The important elements of the File page:

  • The Image. If the image dimensions are large the displayed image is typically shown at a smaller size than the original uploaded file. To see the original file just click on the image.
  • Image Details. Directly under the image there are details about the image file (file size, image dimensions, etc.) and a link. Clicking on the link, or the image, will load the image in its original form.
  • Image Description. Details about the image that can be added during upload (photographer, specimen data, etc.)
  • Licensing. The copyright license assigned to the Image File.
  • File Links. Lists of Antwiki pages that include this image.
  • Categories. Used to organize images. Clicking on a category name (shown in red or blue lettering) will take you to a page that shows all the images and pages that have been assigned to the particular category.

The image description, licensing, and categories can be set in place when the file is uploaded or can be edited within the file page anytime after the file has been uploaded. Editing is done by going to the file page and clicking on the edit tab found in the upper right side of the page.

Updating an Existing File

In some cases there will be a need to replace an existing file with a new version. To upload the file with a new version click the "Upload a new version of this file" link near the bottom of the page. This will open an Upload File window where the new file can be selected. Once uploaded it will appear at the top of the File History section.

Deleting and Moving a File

To delete or move (Antwiki-speak for renaming it) hover the mouse pointer over the arrow in the upper right of the screen near the search box. Once the menu drops down select Delete or Move as required. This will open a page where the action can be completed. Note that in both cases the "old" file isn't actually deleted or moved but rather redirects are created, leaving the original file accessible (although it won't normally be seen unless you go looking for it).

Displaying Images on a Page

The Bare Basics

Any image you want to display on a page must first be uploaded to Antwiki (as explained above). You can work with any images found at the gallery of images and image file list.

Images are referenced by their Image File Name, which is the same as the File Page name, e.g. "File:Pheidole tuxtlasana Wilson 2003.jpg" or "File:Formica-comata 0195.jpg"

The simplest syntax for displaying an image on a page is: [[File:filename.extension|{{width}}]].

Using a real file as an example:

[[File:Formica-comata 0195.jpg|300px]]

Formica-comata 0195.jpg

The "|300px" specifies the size of the image, in this case 300 pixels wide. If the width is not specified the image will be displayed full-sized, which is generally larger than anyone viewing Antwiki would want to see on a page. There is usually no need to display images larger than 300 pixels wide (but any size can be specified). Images should be balanced with the display of text and clicking on the image will display a larger view.

One simple way to place a single nicely formatted image in a page is to display it as a "thumbnail"

[[File:Formica-comata 0195.jpg|thumb]]

This displays the image with a default width of 180px and places a bordered box around the image

Formica-comata 0195.jpg


Thumb images are displayed on the the right side of the page and the text flows around the image box. It is simple to add syntax to the image specifications and have the image appear on the left side of the page with a caption.

[[File:Formica-comata 0195.jpg|thumb|left|Formica comata worker]]
Formica comata worker

There are many more nuances in how you can display and position images on a page. See Beyond the Basics (below) to learn more or, if you see an existing image displayed in a manner that you like, click the "edit" tab of the page to see details of the image syntax necessary to display the image.

Beyond the Basics

Additional help with captions, borders, galleries and more is carefully explained and documented in already existing non-Antwiki help pages.

Taxobox Images

There is a separate help page about taxobox images.

Image Galleries

If you are adding more than a related set of images to a page you should consider placing them in a "gallery." This could be particularly helpful if you have a number of images that form a logical group. Some examples are a set of montage images of different castes or a series of photos showing different nests for a single species.

The formatting and display example here is from Pheidole_bicarinata#Castes.

Looking at the edit page shows the coding for the galleries, in this case a separate one for each caste (queen and male).

File:Pheidole bicarinata queen H MCZ001.jpg
File:Pheidole bicarinata queen L MCZ001.jpg
File:Pheidole bicarinata queen D MCZ001.jpg

File:Pheidole bicarinata male H MCZ001.jpg
File:Pheidole bicarinata male D MCZ001.jpg
File:Pheidole bicarinata male L MCZ001.jpg

This entry will display the following:

Galleries of specimen images can be added to the "Castes" section of species pages. Each of these can be preceded by a formatted heading. These headings create entries in the table of contents shown at the top of the page. This means that from the table of contents you can see a list of casts with images can jump to the appropriate image gallery with a single click. Take a look at Pheidole_bicarinata for an example of this.

This entry includes a heading above three images:

<gallery caption="Montage images of a queen">
File:Pheidole bicarinata queen H MCZ001.jpg
File:Pheidole bicarinata queen L MCZ001.jpg
File:Pheidole bicarinata queen D MCZ001.jpg

Finally, to add a caption below individual images within a gallery add a "|" (pipe) followed by the caption text, like this:

File:Pheidole bicarinata male H MCZ001.jpg |head view
File:Pheidole bicarinata male L MCZ001.jpg |lateral view
File:Pheidole bicarinata male D MCZ001.jpg 

Bulk Image File Uploads

If you are uploading only a few images then it is best to use the normal image upload page or the Multiple Upload page. However, if you have a large number of images to upload then Antwiki management (those with access to the server) can use the maintenance script ImportImages to upload any number of images in a single operation. We can also add metadata (attribution notes, copyright conditions, etc.) at the same time. See ImportImages for instructions on preparing these metadata files.

If you have a large image collection let us known and we'll discuss the details of organising a bulk upload.


Antwiki has enabled the Mediawiki InstantCommons. This means that all images found in Mediawiki Commons can be accessed in the same way as images uploaded directly into Antwiki. This saves considerable time and effort and minimises duplication.

One caution is that if you try to upload an image that is already found in Mediawiki Commons you will get a "duplicate file found" warning, even though the image hasn't been uploaded to Antwiki. While you can ignore this warning and add this second copy, it would be better to abort the upload and use the Mediawiki Commons copy. Also note that for performance reasons no more than three Mediawiki Commons images should be added on any single page. This is because Commons images must be transferred to the Antwiki server for processing (such as resizing) before the page can be displayed. This can take considerable time when a large number of images are involved.