Cowpea is one of the few legumes which adapt well in warm semi-arid and arid climate conditions making it a potential crop for farmers living in dry area of Ethiopia. Since Ethiopia is considered as secondary center of genetic diversity for cowpea, Ethiopian national lowland pulses research program had made effort in the collection of cowpea landraces from different parts of Ethiopia and identified production constraints. Callosobruchus maculatus F. was found to be one of the most important post-harvest problems of cowpea production in Ethiopia. During the collections of the landraces, farmers indicated that there were tremendous variations among the landraces in terms of their reaction to C. maculatus. These views of farmers guided us to screen cowpea landraces and commercial varieties against C. maculatus. Accordingly, 98 cowpea landraces and seven released varieties were screened against the pest. Number of eggs laid, number of holes, percent weight loss and percent germination were the parameters used for the evaluation. The result obtained demonstrated that 45, 13 and 42% of the landraces were resistant, moderately resistant and susceptible, respectively. Bekur and Bole have shown reasonable level of resistance from the commercial varieties. The current findings depicted the existence of high level of resistance in Ethiopian cowpea landraces which could be harnessed in the future cowpea improvement program in general and C. maculatus management in particular.
Key words: Callosoborucus maculatus, cowpea, landraces, storage.