Different life-stages of this species were described under different names: D. terminals (as Echinocyamus terminalis) for the juveniles and D. laevis for the adults. Juvenile D. laevis, from the type locality, however, are indistinguishable from the holotype of E. terminalis and the two species are clearly synonymous.
Mooi, R. 1997. Sand dollars of the genus Dendraster (Echinoidea: Clypeasteroida): Phylogenetic systematics, heterochrony, and distribution of extant species. Bulletin of Marine Science 61, 343-375.