The dispersal and survival of laboratory-reared Aedes albopictus Skuse males were investigated during the summer of 2007 in three Northern Italy urban localities by mark-release-recapture techniques. Two marking methods were compared: one group of males was dusted with fluorescent pigments on the body (FP), and the other group was obtained from a strain whose natural infection of Wolbachia had been removed (WB0). FP- and WB0-marked males were released as adults and pupae, respectively, in one fixed station at each locality. Recaptures were performed by skilled technicians, within a radius of 350 m from the release site, on days 4, 5, and 7 after the release, and the males were collected while flying around the technician's body or in swarms. Recapture rates ranged from 0.63 to 4.72% for FP males and from 2.39 to 11.05% for WB0 males. The mean distance traveled for WBO males was significantly higher than for FP males; no difference was observed between the dispersal distance measured for the males recaptured on human host versus males recaptured while swarming. No further increase of the dispersal occurred during the postrelease period investigated (from day 4 to day 7 after release). The mean survival rate at the release was 0.51 for FP-marked males and 0.81 for WBO males. The data obtained are discussed for their significance in planning sterile insect technique programs against Ae. albopictus.
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Vol. 47 • No. 6