V. spenceri can grow to a total length (including tail) of up to 120 cm (47 in). Spencer's monitor is generally heavier than a similarly sized monitor of another species due to its "stockier" build. It has sharp claws which it uses for digging burrows.
Varanus spenceri eats anything it can find, including highly venomous snakes, small mammals, small lizards, eggs, and carrion (dead animals), and is able to digest anything it eats.
When threatened, V. spenceri hisses loudly, distends its throat and whips its aggressor with its muscular tail.
Varanus spenceri lives in black soil plains with no trees; so Spencer's goanna is the only Australian monitor that does not readily climb although juvenile animals will climb given the opportunity.
Clutch size of Spencer's monitor generally ranges between 11 and 30 eggs.
- Lucas AHS, Frost C (1903). "Descriptions of two new Australian Lizards, Varanus spencer and Diplodactylus bilineatus ". Proc. Royal Soc. Victoria 15: 145-147. (Varanus spenceri, new species, pp. 145–146).
- Mertens R (1958). "Bemerkungen über die Warane Australiens ". Senckenbergiana biologica 39: 229-264. (in German).