"Bowtruckles, of course! Those little beasts can be quite dangerous when they feel threatened."
Mathilda Grimblehawk[src]

The Bowtruckle is a hand-sized, insect-eating tree dweller 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 serves well as camouflage in its natural habitat.[1] They are immensely difficult to spot.


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

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.[2]

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]


The Bowtruckle can be found in western England, southern Germany, and certain Scandinavian forests. A Bowtruckle serves as a tree guardian for its home tree, which is usually a tree whose wood is of wand quality[3] (such as a Wiggentree).[4] The twig-like fingers are well adapted for digging out wood lice in trees and can also be used as a weapon against a foe when aimed at the eyes. It is generally a peaceful creature but will become violent if anything threatens its tree or itself. To take leaves or wood from a Bowtruckle's tree one would have to offer it wood lice or fairy eggs as a distraction.[1]

A group of Bowtruckles is called a branch.[5]


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."

Behind the scenes


Bowtruckle Card

  • At Comic-Con 2016, Eddie Redmayne choose a Bowtruckle Newt Scamander calls "Pickett" as his favourite beast in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them[6]
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Bowtruckles help build wooden ladders in the Forbidden Forest.
  • Hagrid mentions them in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 ("I brought you here sixteen years ago when you were no bigger than a bowtruckle").
  • In the GBA version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they appear as enemies. When a player goes near a tree they live in, they can throw pieces of wood at him or her. To defeat them, the player has to cast the Confundus Charm at them.
  • In the PC version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Bowtruckles appear as enemies, whose offensive consists of throwing pieces of wood. Harry can cast Diffindo at them to defeat them, which earns him a piece of Wiggentree bark, one of the two ingredients in the Wiggenweld Potion. Unfortunately, due to the absence of enemies dropping Flobberworm Mucus upon defeat, this does tend to offset the player's balance of ingredients rather heavily.
    • The pieces of wood thrown by them to hurt the player is actually Wiggentree bark.
  • It is unknown why Bowtruckles are classified as harmless given their aggression when their home tree or themselves are threatened.
  • 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, as seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PC, Mac)


A bowtruckle in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Notes and references

Care of Magical Creatures
Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts
Hagrid's Hut · Forbidden Forest · Care of Magical Creatures classroom
Silvanus Kettleburn · Rubeus Hagrid · Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank (substitute teacher)
The Monster Book of Monsters · Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Creatures studied at Hogwarts
Hippogriff · Flobberworm · Salamander · Blast-Ended Skrewt · Niffler · Unicorn · Thestral · Bowtruckle · Crup · Fire crab · Knarl · Kneazle · Porlock

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 · Merpeople · 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
Albus Dumbledore-101-chocFrogCard
Chocolate Frog Cards
Gold cards:

Armando Dippet · Albus Dumbledore · Barberus Bragge · Bertie Bott · Carlotta Pinkstone · Dzou Yen · Godric Gryffindor · Hermione Granger · Herpo the Foul · Helga Hufflepuff · Harry Potter · Montague Knightley · Phillipus von Hohenheim · Roderick Plumpton · Rowena Ravenclaw · Ronald Weasley · Salazar Slytherin

Silver cards:

Alberic Grunnion · Alberta Toothill · Andros the Invincible · Artemisia Lufkin · Blenheim Stalk · Bowman Wright · Chauncey Oldridge · Circe · Cliodna · Crispin Cronk · Cyprian Youdle · Daisy Dodderidge · Derwent Shimpling · Donaghan Tremlett · Dunbar Oglethorpe · Dymphna Furmage · Elfrida Clagg · Felix Summerbee · Fulbert the Fearful · Gaspard Shingleton · Gideon Crumb · Glenda Chittock · Gondoline Oliphant · Gregory the Smarmy · Gwenog Jones · Honoria Nutcombe · Ignatia Wildsmith · Joscelind Wadcock · Kirley Duke · Laverne de Montmorency · Leopoldina Smethwyck · Maeve · Mirabella Plunkett · Mopsus · Morgan le Fay · Oswald Beamish · Sacharissa Tugwood · Thaddeus Thurkell · Thurkell brothers · Wendelin the Weird · Xavier Rastrick

Bronze cards:

Adalbert Waffling · Almerick Sawbridge · Archibald Alderton · Balfour Blane · Beatrix Bloxam · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Bridget Wenlock · Burdock Muldoon · Cassandra Vablatsky · Celestina Warbeck · Cornelius Agrippa · Devlin Whitehorn · Dorcas Wellbeloved · Edgar Stroulger · Elladora Ketteridge · Ethelred the Ever-Ready · Flavius Belby · Gifford Ollerton · Glanmore Peakes · Glover Hipworth · Greta Catchlove · Grogan Stump · Gulliver Pokeby · Gunhilda de Gorsemoor · Havelock Sweeting · Hengist of Woodcroft · Heathcote Barbary · Herman Wintringham · Hesper Starkey · Jocunda Sykes · Justus Pilliwickle · Merlin · Merton Graves · Merwyn the Malicious · Miranda Goshawk · Mungo Bonham · Musidora Barkwith · Myron Wagtail · Newton Scamander · Norvel Twonk · Orsino Thruston · Perpetua Fancourt · Quong Po · Roland Kegg · Stoddard Withers · Tilly Toke · Uric the Oddball · Yardley Platt

Famous Vampires cards:

Blodwyn Bludd · Vlad Drakul · Amarillo Lestoat · Carmilla Sanguina · Herbert Varney

Famous Hags cards:

Babayaga · Malodora Grymm · Old Mother Hubbard · Cordelia Misericordia · Leticia Somnolens

Famous Giants cards:

Bran the Bloodthirsty · Cyclops · Goliath · Morholt · Hengist of Upper Barnton

Famous Goblins cards:

Alguff the Awful · Eargit the Ugly · Gringott · Ug the Unreliable · Urg the Unclean

Dragon cards:

Common Welsh Green · Hebridean Black · Hungarian Horntail · Norwegian Ridgeback · Romanian Longhorn

Beast cards:

Billywig · Bowtruckle · Doxy · Double-ended Newt · Giant Purple Toad · Giant Squid · Gnome · Gytrash · Imp · Kelpie · Manticore · Mountain Troll · Streeler · Phoenix · Unicorn