• land snails;
  • Pleistocene;
  • Tenerife;
  • palaeoecology;
  • Quaternary


Montaña Negra is a 121 m cinder cone in the Bandas del Sur region of southern Tenerife. Formed in the Middle Pleistocene, it comprises alternating phonolitic pumice deposits and scoria layers; the latter are extremely fossiliferous with good taphonomical fidelity. 40Ar/39Ar age determination provides new dates of 302 ± 7.6 ka and 299.9 ± 11.4 ka for the Lower and Upper Aldea Blanca pumice fall deposits, respectively. This chronological constraint allows comparison of the palaeo-habitat with the global climate at the time of pyroclastic activity. Abundant terrestrial gastropod species and rare disarticulated Coleoptera fragments are to be found. The occurrence of the endemic semi-slug genus Plutonia (Family Vitrinidae) is significant in indicating a woodland habitat in the region during the Middle Pleistocene. We suggest that this may have been forest, possibly dominated by laurel, which is in stark contrast to the present-day semi-desert. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.