’Erq el-Ahmar is a 2 myr old Upper Pliocene site in the Jordan Valley (Israel). Its Melanopsis fauna was found to include five species, which are described: M. buccinoidea Olivier, M. praecursor Schütt & Ortal, M. multiformis Blanckenhorn, M. aaronsohni Blanckenhorn and M. tchemovi sp. nov. The latter, a keeled species, is similar to Recent M. dufouri Férussac, of Morocco and it is suggested that keels may perhaps appear independently in different Melanopsis species. A sixth species, M. saulcyi Bourguignat, is present in only a single vial, which may well be mislabeled.
A gap seems to exist, in the Jordan Valley, between the aquatic fauna of the late Pliocene on the one hand and the early Pleistocene on the other. The ’Erq el-Ahmar faunal assemblage suggests that during the upper Pliocene faunal connections between the Jordan and the Orontes were weak.
The Melanopsis fauna suggests that the Palaeo-environment of ’Erq el-Ahmar consisted of a shallow, non-turbulent, well-aerated lake with a slow current and a nearby stream.