The Ionian Wall Lizard is a good example for alternating taxonimic systematics: Initially, this species had been described by LEHRS in 1903. However, BOULENGER (1907) recognized it as a subspecies of Podarcis tauricus. Recent genetic analysis revealed that it actually should be regarded as a separate species*.
In fact, the two species show morphological differences: Podarcis tauricus has broad dark supra-dorsolateral streaks, which are reduced to single blotches in Podarcis ionicus. Therefore, the back of Podarcis ionicus appears widely green whereas Podarcis tauricus only shows a green vertebral streak. Furthermore, Podarcis ionicus tends to have more green colouration on the flanks than Podarcis tauricus. The undersides may be white, yellow or even orange.
Podarcis ionicus inhabits a wide range of well-vegetated habitats. It seems to climb more than Podarcis tauricus. Geographically, the Pindos Mountain Range acts as an efficient barrier between the two species.
The distribution range of Podarcis ionicus covers southern Albania, western Greece, the Ionian Islands (Corfu, Kefalonia, Ithaka, Zakynthos) and the Peloponnese.
It may co-occur with the following species:
* PSONIS, N. & ANTONIU, A. & KUKUSHKIN, O. & JABLONSKI, D. & PETROV, B. & CRNOBRNJA-ISAILOVIC, J. & SOTIROPOULOS, K. & GHERGHEL, I. & LYMBERAKIS, P. & POULAKAKIS, N. (2017) - Hidden diversity in the Podarcis tauricus (Sauria, Lacertidae) species subgroup in the light of multilocus phylogeny and species delimitation. - Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106: 6-17.