I recently received an email from a resident that went as follows: I have a humongous spider in my backyard in Galveston. It has constructed a huge web, which is anchored between a palm tree and a wood fence. Do you know what kind of spider it is? It is big and scary looking.
The above inquiry was sent to me by email and contained not one but two high-quality photos. Case solved: The photo was that of a female banana spider (Nephila clavipes), one of the largest species that occur in our area. The Banana spider is a brightly colored species of the orb-web spider family.