This book represents the second part of the three-volume series "Keys to the Trematoda", a fundamental publication on the systematics and identification of the class Trematoda. The
first volume was published in 2002 and was warmly admired by the professional community [for a book review in this journal, see Tkach V.V., Acta Parasitologica, 48(4), 315-316]. The authors of the second volume are 17 helminthologists from U.K. (A. Jones, D.I. Gibson and R.A. Bray), U.S.A. (R.M. Overstreet, J.N. Caira, S.S. Curran, B. Fried, S.L. Gardner
and I. Kanev), Australia (T.H. Cribb, D. Blair, D.P. Barton and K. Hall), Bulgaria (A. Kostadinova and V. Radev), India (R. Madhavi) and Brazil (T. Bogea).
This volume entirely follows the format of the first book. The text is organised in 54 chapters. The first chapter is introductory. It represents the recent developments in trematode taxonomy and phylogeny (published mostly after the first volume was printed). A key to the superfamilies presented in this volume is also included.
The remaining 53 chapters are each devoted to a certain trematode superfamily or family. The entries for each familygroup taxon are standardised. Each chapter starts with a brief general statement on the morphological, biological and hostal characteristics of the family (or superfamily), a concise historical survey and comments on the controversial issues relating to the taxonomic concepts adopted by the authors. Diagnoses are presented for each superfamily, family or subfamily. The central component of each chapter is the identification key to the included genera. The keys are written very precisely, illustrated by clear drawings and complemented with detailed generic diagnoses. It is apparent from the text that most of the authors based the preparation of their chapters on the examination of specimens from collections. Therefore, the generic diagnoses and the illustrations presented are mostly original. This makes the book of enormous value for researchers and institutions involved in studies on digeneans.
At the same time, the volume will be very useful to workers in veterinary and human parasitology. It contains valuable contributions on the families Fasciolidae, Echinostomatidae, Philophthalmidae, Paramphistomidae, Notocotylidae and other groups of medical importance. Fish parasitologists will find keys to the genera of widespread and important taxa (Haploporidae, Allocreadiidae, Opecoelidae, Lepocreadiidae, Acanthocolpidae, etc.). Finally, a wide range of zoologists, from experts to university students, will find this series an indispensable source of information on the diversity of trematodes and their life styles. The editors and the author have succeeded in preparing a book, which is valuable to experts, practising parasitologists and beginners, and they should be congratulated on their great success.
No doubt, this will be the standard trematode reference work for the next 20 or 30 years. It should be acquired by the libraries of institutions carrying out parasitological research in both basic and broader, more applied contexts (e.g., wildlife diseases, fisheries, aquaculture, etc.) and of schools of biological, medical and veterinary sciences. The price for the hardback issue of this excellent book, which will likely rapidly become a bibliographic rarity, is 150 GBP or 275 USD.
Page compiled by M. Bultowicz. Last modification: January 06, 2006