Spencer’s goanna or Spencer’s monitor (Varanus spenceri ) is a species of monitor lizard in the family Varanidae. The species is endemic to Australia.
The specific name, spenceri, is in honor of English-Australian biologist Walter Baldwin Spencer.
V. spenceri is native to the Barkly region in central Queensland/Northern Territory, Australia.
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.
Varanus ingrami Boulenger, 1906, is an invalid name (a junior synonym) for this species.
Media related to Varanus spenceri at Wikimedia Commons