The Role of Seed Coat and Its Pigmentation on the Acceptance of Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc.) Cultivars by the Cowpea Beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus (F.)

Bambara groundnut, Vigna subterranea is an important legume crop that is adaptable to the dry regions of Africa. It is a major source of protein to people in many parts of Africa. One major constraint to increased production of the crop is the incidence of the storage pest Callosobruchus maculatus which causes significant weight loss to seeds in storage. The preference of the cowpea beetle C. maculatus for a particular seed coat colour was determined using four different colour types of bambara groundnut in an arena. The olfactory attractiveness of testa against cotyledon and cotyledon against whole grain was carried out in an olfactometer. Oviposition preference of C. maculatus on the different seed colours was determined. In the arena experiment significantly more of the beetles showed preference for cream and mottled seeds than red and black seeds. Significantly more beetles chose seeds with testa over decorticated seeds as well as whole grain over decorticated seeds. Colour significantly affected the seeds as oviposition sites. Significantly fewer eggs were laid on red and black seeds than cream seeds in both the choice and no choice tests (P < 0.0001). Thus for the purpose of reducing losses of seeds in storage it is advisable to cultivate redand black-coloured seeds which showed lower acceptability to C. maculatus as oviposition site.
An article published by Advances in Entomology, 2015, 3, 125-131; 2015: Available at
Callosobruchus maculatus, CotyledoN, Oviposition, Vigna subterranea
Advances in Entomology, 2015, 3, 125-131