Knowledge of the flight behavior of local vectors is of paramount importance in mosquito control programs. The following study defined the recapture rate of wild-caught, unengorged Anopheles darlingi females at 0, 400, and 800 m from a fixed release point in Belize, Central America, using a newly designed portable experimental hut. Three sampling trials, each consisting of 2 12-h collections, were performed at all distances from July 2002 to June 2003. A total of 1,185 An. darlingi were marked and released during the course of the study. The recapture rate was greatest at 0 m (29.0%; 124/428) and declined from 11.6% (37/318) at 400 m to 5.8% (21/361) at the 800-m site. There was no difference between the average number of marked mosquitoes recaptured inside the experimental hut versus outside the hut at any distance location. Recapture rates of each trial were highest during the first night's collection at all locations. Further examination of the first night data revealed a variation in the peak time of recapture by distances from the release point. The peak in nightly recapture at both the 0- and 400-m sites occurred within the first 2 h after sunset, and the peak recapture at the 800-m site occurred during the 7th h after sunset. Information from the present study is the first to describe the flight behavior of An. darlingi in Belize and will benefit in the development of adult-density risk assessments at the house level based on distances from potential vector breeding sites.
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Vol. 21 • No. 4