ISSN 1062-3604, Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, 2008, Vol. 38, No. 5, p. 324. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2008.
Original Russian Text © I.A. Kosevich, 2008, published in Ontogenez, 2008, Vol. 38, No. 5, pp. 399–400.
Highly specialized parasitic rhizocephalans are
unlikely a well-known group of invertebrates for most
biologists. Nevertheless, this group of barnacles
remains within the scope of biologists since long due to
the speciﬁc features of their sexual and asexual repro-
duction and the impact on their hosts. Not least, the
interest to this group of crustaceans is maintained by
economic consequences of their parasitism in food
crustaceans. The publication of the ﬁrst monograph
reviewing most major aspects of rhizocephalan biology
can be considered as an important, timely, and impor-
The book gives the ﬁrst detailed presentation of
morphological and spatial organization of some rhizo-
cephalan species at the endoparasitic stage. The struc-
ture and blastogenetic development of the major parts
of interna (the stage of the parasite inside the host) has
been considered in detail in colonial rhizocephalans.
Comparative histological and ultrastructural data are
given for several species. The original and published
data on the stem cell behavior and development of germ
cell precursors obtained using current immunohis-
tochemical and molecular genetic techniques have been
reviewed for the ﬁrst time.
Considerable attention is given to the discussion of
reproductive and life cycles in several rhizocephalan
species. Speciﬁc parasite–host interactions were con-
sidered in detail. The properties of the reproductive
strategy of rhizocephalans and possible pathways of its
origin were discussed.
The monograph considers the problem of colonial
organization of the studied rhizocephalans in particular.
The ﬁrst comparison of the life cycles, structure, devel-
opment at the parasitic stage, and reproductive strate-
gies is given for colonial and noncolonial representa-
tives of this group of parasitic crustaceans. The data
obtained using unique culture methods and in vitro
monitoring of the endoparasitic stages are presented,
and these data conﬁrm the colonial organization of the
studied rhizocephalan species. The evolutionary conse-
quences of the asexual reproduction based on blastoge-
nesis, which is unique for crustaceans and led to the
colonial organization in some rhizocephalans during
their parasitic stage are discussed.
Unfortunately, the book is not free from notable
blemishes. From the beginning, it becomes clear that it
is based on the grant reports for the Russian Foundation
for Basic Research. As a result, there are many repeats
(looking as the main text and summary at the end of
each chapter. The book will beneﬁt from a small dictio-
nary of major terms for readers not specializing in
rhizocephalans. A number of terms are not explained
after the ﬁrst incidence but much later.
The book claims several times that the colonial
organization of the studied rhizocephalan species is
beyond question and generally accepted. However, it is
not clear from the presented references. Moreover, the
authors mention the opinion of other researchers that do
not consider rhizocephalans as colonial animals. The
original data and conclusions are convincing; however,
erratic terminology related to the colonial organization
is sometimes used (“individuals” in the colony, etc.).
This biologically interesting section could be made
more compact and correct.
The typographic quality of the book is a serious
drawback. The quality of many light and electron
micrographs is so poor that some illustrations are hard
to understand. Under these circumstances, the book
could substantially beneﬁt from more informative line
drawings and diagrams instead of the presented micro-
graphs. The available drawings and diagrams are of
Despite these drawbacks, the book
is of great interest for a wide range of biol-
ogists. It will be clearly useful for both specialists and
readers interested in the general problems of zoology,
parasitology, and developmental biology.
Colonial Rhizocephalans (Crustacea, Rhizocephala): Asexual
Reproduction, Stem Cells, and Reproductive Strategy
by V. V. Isaeva and A. I. Sukalyuk, Moscow: Nauka, 2007