There have been other similar dottybacks sighted from nearby waters, and these may ultimately wind up being described as distinct species in their own right. The late Roger Lubbock (of Cirrhilabrus fame) collected some similar specimens in the Philippines, and this same Filipino fish has even found its way into the aquarium trade at least once, having been exported from Cebu. Additional populations of yellow-scaled dottybacks are reported from Cenderawasih Bay (just to the east of where P. stellatus is known from) and from the easternmost tip of New Guinea. Along with this discovery, a newly recognized complex of closely related dottybacks was suggested for P. stellatus. The most familiar for aquarists will be P. tonozukai, a sporadically exported Indonesian species with some especially prominent sexual color differences. But the others in this group are a veritable who’s who of obscure pseudochromids: the Zippered Dottyback (P. jace), the Painted Dottyback (P. pictus), and the Reticulate Dottyback (P. reticulatus), a species so elusive that it has still yet to be seen alive.
- Gill, A.C., Allen, G.R. and Erdmann, M.V. 2017. Pseudochromis stellatus, a new species of dottyback from Indonesia (Teleostei: Pseudochromidae). Zootaxa 4338 (2): 333–340 http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4338.2.7