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The Daily Beast Special - Amazing Jumping Spiders - August 20, 2010

Toronto Star Picture Editor Wanda Goodwin shares these incredible images made available today.

Staring menacingly at the camera these extraordinary looking creatures look like monsters straight out of a horror film.  But, despite appearances, these creatures are actually jumping spiders, which measure a tiny six millimetres.

The harmless arachnids, which are capable of jumping up to six times their own height, can be found in grassy meadows and on the walls of houses on sunny days.
Photographer Tomas Rak scours British towns and countryside looking for them to capture on film with macro photography.
The result is an extraordinary picture, which reveals tiny flecks of colour in each spider's eye and every hair on its body.


Pictured:  Phidippus Audax
© Tomas Rak/Solent News & Photo Agency

Mr Rak, 28, said he'd had a very positive response to his incredible photography.
He added: "People are usually amazed by these jumping spiders, they ask questions like how is it possible to get so close and what I do with spiders to get a shot.



Pictured: A Pseudeuophrys lanigera male
© Tomas Rak/Solent News & Photo Agency

"Macro photography is very interesting. It allows you to see lots of detail that you would not see with your eyes alone, that's why I love it."


Pictured: A Pseudeuophrys lanigera female
© Tomas Rak/Solent News & Photo Agency

After finding the tiny creatures, Mr Rak takes them to his home in London to be photographed.

He uses a digital camera and macro lens, which allows him to get an extreme close up.


Pictured:  A Satis Barbipes with prey.
© Tomas Rak/Solent News & Photo Agency


Pictured: Euophrys frontalis
© Tomatito Rodriguez/Solent News & Photo Agency

He said: "I usually find them when I am looking carefully on the walls around me during a sunny day when they try to catch a prey.
"It's not easy to them at first find, but when you've see your first jumping spider, what it looks like, their movements, you will be able to find another one easily."


Pictured: Phidippus Regius
 ©Tomas Rak/Solent News

Some photographers put the spiders into a fridge or freezer because it subdues them and makes it easier to take their picture.


Pictured: Hyllus Diardy
© Tomas Rak/Solent News & Photo Agency

But Mr Rak doesn't do this, so getting the perfect shot can take time and patience. One of his favourite spiders, a blue-eyed Saitis barbipes, took an agonising three weeks to get.


Pictured: Saitis Barbipes
 ©Tomas Rak/Solent News

"As I do not put insect into fridge or freezer to make it motionless, I was waiting for this shot for three weeks."
After getting the shot Mr Rak releases his subjects back into the wild where he found them.


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I find the pictures absolutely beautiful. The jumping spider is the only spider that I have ever allowed to stay in my home since I have always found them interesting. Now after seeing the pictures of them I know how amazing they look up close.

Amazing shots. As a gear head I am curious to know his equipment setup and any post-production he might have done. Astounding macros, well done.

this is disgusting!!!

Great. Nightmares for life. :( Kidding aside, the photography here is superb.

Beautiful, but I wish I had seen a photo showing them as we would see them for i haven't any idea if i have ever seen one of these spiders...

These photos are amazing! Spiders have an undeniably alien appearance, and yet they have a strange beauty. Jumping spiders in particular have an odd cuteness, with their huge round eyes.

Thank you for posting them, and I hope the Toronto Star photo-blogs arachnids again sometime! (Especially if you ever do a series on the multicolored blue/purple/green tarantulas - their scientific name is avicularia versicolor. They'd be amazing in macro photography.)

Oh they are just delightful! What gorgeous little creature! I can feel they're personality, they're all different. Are the four eyes, really four eyes? If so talk about global vision.

Thank you!

Am I the only one who thinks spiders are cute? They have fuzzy, kawaii faces, as if Sanrio designed aliens.

I loved these pictures and have a better appreciation of these spiders. I always put spiders outside I don't kill them. Thank you this is beautiful.

Thanks for freaking me out.

Why is it when I look at spiders, I only see black or brown.
We have these in Toronto???????

Not only are they fantastic photos, but each face is different! Who knew that such macro beauty was in everyone's loft? I would like to know how big they are - are they the little 'round' ones that leap aways if you go to put them in the spider-catcher to put them outside?

Wahwah-wooaaa! That is creepy but amazing

Fantastic photos! I have to admit it, although I'm scared of spiders and if at least one of them was in my room, I would most likely storm out of here. :)

I hate spiders, but these are such amazing pictures!

Amazing photos! Personally, I have arachnophobia....but think these photos are extremely artistic.... Kudos to the photographer :)

I am always interested by spiders but too nervous to get close and look at them. These photos do it for me! :)

One of the many miracles of the animal kingdom. Thank you for sharing your passion...stunning!!

Fantastic shots! And what amazing colours... Thanks for sharing.
p.s. i can't kill spiders usually as they eat things that bite me :D i did kill one accidentally not long ago and kept apologising as i retrieved the body; i'd almost squashed her underfoot :(

These are STUNNING!!! I always thought jumping spiders were adorable . . . for spiders, but these photos just blew my mind. WOW!!! Fantastic work! Thank you so much for sharing! The beauty in these just made my day!

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