The potential sources and abundance of naturally occurring entomopathogenic fungi with bio-control potential against the cowpea pod borer, Maruca vitrata, were investigated by adapting the Galleria bait method. Soil samples from five sites: Cow-stead, Piggery and Poultry sites as well as Crops Research Garden (CRG) and Practical Year Training Programme (PYTP) farm for arable crops of the University of Ibadan were used in the study. Soil samples from the different sites and 2nd instar larvae that were exposed to the samples of the different soils were assessed for occurrence and abundance of the fungi following standard procedures. Results show nine fungi species from soil samples and seven fungi species to be associated with dead larvae of M. vitrata. The most abundant fungi in the soil and dead larvae were Rhizopus sp. and Fusarium sp. while the most abundant fungus with known entomopathogenic potential was Beauveria bassiana followed by Trichoderma and Penicillium spp. The best sources for collection of the entomopathogenic fungi were the arable crop farms of the PYTP and the CRG sites where active farming activities carried out.
Key words: Entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana, Trichoderma and Maruca vitrata.