Time-resolved phosphorescence anisotropy was used to study the molecular organisation of band 3 in the erythrocyte membrane. Three different rotational relaxation regimes of mobile band 3 were resolved. These populations may represent different aggregation states of band 3 within the membrane, or they may result from association of band 3 with other proteins at the cytoplasmic surface. The polycation spermine decreases the apparent mobility of band 3 by a mechanism that does not involve the underlying cytoskeleton. A monoclonal antibody directed against the cytoplasmic portion of band 3 can also cause an increase in the immobile fraction of band 3 molecules. This monoclonal antibody will inhibit invasion of erythrocytes by malaria parasites. Membranes prepared from erythrocytes infected with mature stages of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, show altered dynamic properties corresponding to a marked restriction of band 3 mobility.