The dispersal of and the existence of memory in sand flies were measured in a transmission area of cutaneous leishmaniasis, in the municipality of Bandeirantes, Paraná, Brazil. Sand flies were caught in a rural area, with Shannon trap installed in the forest and three Falcão traps installed in a human-inhabited environment (HIE) and three others in an impacted environment presently uninhabited by humans (EUH), from 1800 to 0600 hours. The captured sand flies were marked with yellow, blue, or red fluorescent powder, according to the environments where they were captured. All marked sand flies were released at 0700 hours at a point between the three environments. The recaptures were made with 28 Falcâo traps, distributed in the environments from for 10 consecutive days. The sand flies recaptured were examined under a stereomicroscope and later identified. It was concluded that sand flies are able to disperse over an average distance of 73 m, reaching 130 m in 24 h, showing that: 1) the sand flies were attracted with different intensities to each environment, and the ability to move among different environments allows the existence of enzootic cycle of Leishmania; 2) the sand flies possess a spatial memory, olfactory memory, or both, that enable them to return to the environment where they were captured initially, although the distances were different.
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Vol. 50 • No. 5