Traditional mosquito control strategies rely heavily on the use of chemical insecticides. However, concerns about the efficiency of traditional control methods, environmental impact and emerging pesticide resistance have highlighted the necessity for developing innovative tools for mosquito control. Some novel strategies, including release of insects carrying a dominant lethal gene (RIDL®), rely on the sustained release of modified male mosquitoes and therefore benefit from a thorough understanding of the biology of the male of the species. In this report we present the results of a mark-release-recapture study aimed at: (i) establishing the survival in the field of laboratory-reared, wild-type male Aedes aegypti
and (b) estimating the size of the local adult Ae. aegypti
population. The study took place in Panama, a country where recent increases in the incidence and severity of dengue cases have prompted health authorities to evaluate alternative strategies for vector control. Results suggest a life expectancy of 2.3 days for released male mosquitoes (confidence interval: 1.78-2.86). Overall, the male mosquito population was estimated at 58 males/ha (range 12-81 males/ha), which can be extrapolated to an average of 0.64 pupae/person for the study area. The practical implications of these results are discussed.