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"The Bowtruckle, which eats insects, is a peaceable and intensely shy creature but if the tree in which it lives is threatened, it has been known to leap down upon the woodcutter or tree-surgeon attempting to harm its home and gouge at their eyes with its long, sharp fingers. An offering of woodlice will placate the Bowtruckle long enough to let a witch or wizard remove wand-wood from its tree."
Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them[src]

The Bowtruckle was a hand-sized, insect-eating, tree dwelling magical beast with long sharp fingers (two on each hand), brown eyes, and a general appearance of a flat-faced stick figure made of bark and twigs, which served well as camouflage in its natural habitat.[2]


The Bowtruckle could be found in western England, southern Germany, and certain Scandinavian forests. A Bowtruckle served as a tree guardian for its home tree, which was usually a tree whose wood was of wand quality[3][4] (such as a Wiggentree).[5] The twig-like fingers were well adapted for digging out woodlice from trees and could also be used as a weapon against a foe when aimed at the eyes.[2]

A group of Bowtruckles was called a branch.[6]

It was generally a peaceful creature, but it could attempt to gouge out an attacker's eyes if anything threatened its tree or itself,[2] and was adept at dodging most types of charms.[7] In order to take leaves or wood from a Bowtruckle's tree, a wizard or witch had to offer it woodlice[2] or fairy eggs[3] as a distraction.


Earlier history[]


A Bowtruckle in a Care of Magical Creatures lesson during the 1987–1988 school year

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had a Bowtruckle Island at the Great Lake. Newton Scamander used to go to it when he attended Hogwarts, and gained the trust of the Bowtruckles. In between February and June 1913, he took Leta Lestrange in an effort to cheer her up.[8]

Newt Scamander kept a branch of Bowtruckles in his suitcase by December 1926.[9]

During the 1987–1988 school year, Bowtruckles were studied by fourth-year Care of Magical Creatures students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, taught by Professor Silvanus Kettleburn, who described them to be slipperier than Frog Spawn Soap.[10] One of Kettleburn's personal Bowtruckles was named by Jacob's sibling, and was named either Jacob, Barnaby Junior or Newt, after a person of the same name.[11]

Bowtruckles were studied by fifth-year Care of Magical Creatures students at Hogwarts during 1995–1996 school year, taught by substitute Professor Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank.[3]

21st century[]

In 2008, a new first-year student helped Professor Longbottom water Bowtruckle saplings in the Herbology Classroom. He suggested they use the Water-Making Spell instead of a watering can. When they tried to water a sapling, they accidentally hurt it which made it angry. Neville intervened and apologised, offering a treat as a peace offering before it decided to gouge out their eyes.[12]

In the 21st century, a branch of bowtruckles was unleashed as a Confoundable by the Calamity and had to be dealt with by the Statute of Secrecy Task Force and returned to the Black Forest in Germany. Luna Lovegood also took a Magizoologist member of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force into the Forbidden Forest in search of Bowtruckles, teaching them the incredible concentration and care required to locate such small creatures.[13]


The word "bow" was an old Scottish dialect means "dwelling", and "truckle" means "limb of tree" in old English dialect. This means "to take a subordinate position". In Hindi translation of the fifth book, it's called "Kaashth'jeev", which loosely translates to "wood (of tree) creature".

Behind the scenes[]

  • It is unknown why Bowtruckles are classified as harmless, given their aggression when their home tree or themselves are threatened.
    • A possible explanation is that they are generally peaceful, only displaying aggressiveness in these selected circumstances (explaining why they're classified as harmless as opposed to boring). Furthermore, due to their small size, they might not pose a grave danger to wizards, even when they are being aggressive.
  • The Bowtruckle's use in lock-picking may be inspired by the rashnovik plant, a magical herb in Slavic mythology said to be able to unlock or uncover anything that is locked or closed regardless of size, material, or key. They were notoriously difficult or even impossible to find and identify, and could only be found by chthonic animals like snakes, tortoises, or hedgehogs.
Bowtruckle COSVG

Bowtruckle, as seen in the PC version of the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


The Harry Potter Wiki has 65 images related to Bowtruckle.

Notes and references[]

Care of Magical Creatures
Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts
Hagrid's Hut · Forbidden Forest · Care of Magical Creatures Classroom · Magical Creatures (club) · The Paddock
Professors Silvanus Kettleburn · Rubeus Hagrid · Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank (substitute teacher)
Textbooks The Monster Book of Monsters · Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Creatures studied at Hogwarts
Blast-Ended Skrewt · Bowtruckle · Chimaera · Crup · Demiguise · Diricawl · Doxy · Dugbog · Fairy · Fire Crab · Fire Dwelling Salamander · Flobberworm · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Gnome · Golden Snidget · Griffin · Hippogriff · Imp · Jackalope · Knarl · Kneazle · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Occamy · Porlock · Quintaped · Streeler · Thestral · Unicorn · Yeti
Magical creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merperson · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf
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