1.  Describe jumping spiders to an audience that may not know that they exist.   
Jumping spiders are the largest family of all species of spiders. They can be found just about anywhere in nature if you’re looking closely, they’re smaller than the tip of your finger!
2. How are these spiders different from “regular” spiders, besides being able to move around differently? 
They have among the best eye sight of any spider species, with 4 sets of eyes! And unlike most other spiders, jumpers don’t use webs to catch their prey, they hunt and ambush. Often the only web they use is a safety line when they’re jumping.
3. Explain the currently understood mechanism for how these spiders jump.
They propel themselves by suddenly changing the blood flow in their body. When a jumper wants to soar, it contracts special muscles to increase the flow of blood to its legs.
4. About how many species of jumping spiders are in our area?
I’m not sure of these exact number but I have personally seen at least half a dozen so far.
5. Explain how you became interested in jumping spiders.
Seeing pictures online I always thought they were fascinating little creatures, so when I got into macro photography, they were the first things I went looking for. The more I photograph them, the more interest I have for them.
6. Tell us a bit about the camera and lens that you use to capture your images.
I shoot with a Canon EOS 90D and a Laowa 100mm 2x Macro Lens along with a special flash unit specifically for macro photography.
7.  Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Luke Ciancio. I’m 27 years old and I live in Lake Barrington Shores. I began teaching myself photography about 6 years ago and have loved it ever since.
8. When you’re not photographing spiders, what is your occupation?
I work in mosquito abatement for Clarke Mosquito Management.
9. How important are healthy natural areas such as the Oak Ridge Marsh Nature Park to the lives of these types of spiders? 
Natural areas such as Oak Ridge Marsh Nature Park are vital not just to the lives of jumping spiders but to all of the creatures that call those places home. We share this planet with so many different types of living things, whether you see them or not, and that must be respected!
10. Is there anything else that we should know about spiders or you that might be interesting to our readers?
Just remember, spiders, more often than not, are much more afraid of you than you are of them. But they play an important role in controlling the population of pest insects like mosquitoes, so they’re great to have around!

Photography by Luke Ciancio