• Aedes albopictus;
  • dispersal;
  • flight range;
  • mark–release–recapture;
  • mean distance travelled;
  • sticky trap;
  • Europe

We report the results of three mark–release–recapture experiments carried out in an urban area in Rome, Italy, to study the active dispersal of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). The 4.3% recapture rate obtained supports the use of sticky traps in MRR experiments to study the dispersal of Ae. albopictus females. Most fluorescent dust-marked females were recaptured at the gravid stage at 50–200 m from the release sites during the first 9 days after release. The average of daily-MDTs (Mean Distance Traveled) was 119 m and the maximum observed distance travelled ranged from 199 m to 290 m in the three replicates. These data provide the first information about the dispersal of Ae. albopictus in a temperate European area and appear to be consistent with the few data available on this subject from other urban areas, where dispersal was constrained by physical barriers. Although caution should be taken in generalizing these results, they should be considered when planning control activities in urban areas in Italy, as well as in other European countries. This is particularly relevant if control is intended to interrupt pathogen transmission in cases of possible arbovirus epidemics, such as the Chikungunya outbreak that occurred in Ravenna, Italy in 2007.