The contents of the book consist of chapters on the classification, evolution, geographic and host distributions, host relationships and medical significance of the Ceratophyllidae. Well-selected references accompany each chapter and five appendices supplement the material given in the main text. A great wealth of information is presented in tabular form and cross-referenced throughout to facilitate study. Maps, line drawings and photographs are well-executed and complement the text.
The chapter on classification, contributed by F. G. A. M. Smit, contains notes on the general morphology and a new key to the genera and subgenera of the Ceratophyllidae. The new key is, essentially, a reclassification of the family. Eight new genera and nine new subgenera have been described. An appendix, consisting of an alphabetically arranged table of present and previous generic assignments, assists in charting the nomenclatural changes resulting from the new classification. Excellent illustrations of key characters and taxonomic features are given in 205 line drawings and 90 photomicrographic plates.