Mount Etna

A fauna context yet to be discovered

Etna’s fauna must coexist with the moods and upheavals of the volcano; during its eruptions, especially those on the flanks, it destroys large portions of land and causes death and destruction. In fact, this forces the animals present to flee, and alters the changes to the natural environment made by humankind.
Therefore, it is important to classify the animal species that can be found on Etna, the most common being:
Lacertids: the green lizard, the Italian wall lizard and the gongilo, known as tiraciatu. These reptiles are easy to find, especially the Italian wall lizard, on dry stone walls and in the rocks that make up the lava flows.
Snakes: the green whip snake, the European ratsnake, the Aesculapian snake and the asp viper, the only poisonous one, which rarely attacks, preying instead on small mammals, mainly rodents, as well as lizards and birds.
Amphibians: amphibians need an aquatic environment to reproduce. This important need means they are only present in the foothills of Etna. The most common species is the pool frog.
Birds: there are many bird species, many of which are protected. Some include: the Eurasian sparrowhawk, the buzzard, the kestrel, the peregrine falcon and the golden eagle. Of the nocturnal birds of prey also present in urban areas: the barn owl and the Eurasian scops owl. Finally, we find the tawny owl and the long-eared owl, present only on Etna and not in other areas of the island.
Insectivores: the hedgehog, the Etruscan shrew and the Sicilian shrew.
Bats: the greater and lesser horseshoe bat, the brown long-eared bat, Kuhl’s pipistrelle, the greater mouse-eared bat, the common noctule and the common bent-wing bat.
Lagomorphs: the rabbit and the hare, both visible in green spaces and around urban centres.
Rodents: the dormouse, the garden dormouse, the black rat, the house mouse, the wild mouse and the crested porcupine.
Carnivores: the fox, often present in urban centres and the most popular tourist areas. The weasel, which especially lives around cultivated areas.
A characteristic animal of the volcano, present in Sicily for centuries and a great companion for people, especially hunters, is the Cirneco dell’Etna.
Cirneco dell’Etna It is a dog with pointy ears that are wide at the bottom and a slender bearing with long and agile legs that allow it to run at speeds of 45 km/h. This makes it a master at catching hares and rabbits. The Cirneco also has sturdy cushioned paws that make it easy to walk among the volcanic rocks.

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

Volcanic monitoring and eruption forecasting

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The Jaci river

The first Etnean volcanic events between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

The senses tell The Etna viewpoint

The Etna viewpoint

The 1669 eruption in Catania

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The senses tell Acireale

The senses tell The Summit craters

The 2001 eruption of Mount Etna, where the approach to volcanoes changed

An ever-evolving volcano

Etna, wine terroir of excellence

The “notches” of snow

Humankind and the volcano: how should we behave? Volcanic risk

Etna, an ever-changing natural laboratory


Etna, the living mountain

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

Etna: a marvellous group of microclimates and vegetation

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

Acireale and its “timpe”

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The senses tell Val Calanna

Val Calanna, the first step towards a single large volcanic structure

A fauna context yet to be discovered

Torre del Filosofo: at the base of the summit craters (2950 metres)

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The senses tell Valle del Leone

The different names of the “Muntagna”

Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali