Also known as Rosenberg’s monitor, the species is known to be a large and fast predator with rugged bodies and long tails, reaching 1.5m in length.  It is dark grey above, finely spotted with yellow or white, and with paired, blackish cross-bands from the neck to the end of the tail. The pairs of narrow, regular bands around the entire length of the tail is a distinguishing feature, separating it from the more common lace monitor, which has very wide, light and dark bands towards the tip of the tail.


Heath monitors occur in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, where it may be rare or locally common, and more frequently observed in Western Australia, where it is sometime abundant. The favoured types of habitat for the species is associated with plant communities are most often sandy heathland, open woodland or sclerophyll forest. They are known to excavate burrows for refuge or occupy rocky fissures and hollow trees.


They are highly active carnivores, able to pursue large prey, and opportunistic generalists whose diet includes birds, reptiles, mammals, eggs, and carrion.


The reproductive habits of the heath monitor are closely associated with termite constructions, the above ground nest-mounds of some species, and is thought to rely on these to produce offspring with female heath monitors laying up to 14 eggs. The use of termite mounds provides the newly hatched progeny the favourable conditions within the nest, including warmth and regulated humidity, when conditions outside hinder the activity of adults.