The Shellbug is a large, rare, immobile and passive insect found in The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard.


Shellbugs cannot be killed by any conventional means, however, they can be mined for Shellbug Chitin and sometimes a random gem. After three pieces of chitin have been mined, the Shellbug dies. The chitin can be used to make a Shellbug Helmet.


Shellbugs are rare, appearing only in two hidden locations in the Forgotten Vale. One is located in Forgotten Vale Cave and another in Sharpslope Cave.

Forgotten Vale CaveEdit

Behind a hidden door that can be accessed by pulling a rope found at the top of a ramp in the main chamber.

Sharpslope CaveEdit

A small gap in the wall near the top of the spiral slope, under three Giant Mushrooms leads to the Shellbug.


  • If mining is stopped before collecting more than two pieces of chitin, the Shellbug does not die. They also respawn, so three may be collected from each Shellbug every ten days of in-game time.  
  • They are stationary and do not have any other interactions besides being mined.
  • Like ore veins, it is possible to get gems when mining. Shellbugs also emit the "This ore vein is depleted." message.
  • Shellbugs cannot be detected using spells such as Detect Life or Aura Whisper.


This section contains bugs related to Shellbug. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  360   PS3   Sometimes, the Shellbug's body may not be interactive and the option to mine does not appear. Solves itself when ten to thirty in-game days pass, as with all ore vein-type objects.
  •  PS3   Sometimes, when returning to mine more Shellbug Chitin from the Shellbug, the player will walk right through it, like it is not even there and only part of the scenery, rendering it impossible to mine addition chitin from it, especially if needed for upgrading the quality of the Shellbug Helmet.


Start a Discussion Discussions about Shellbug

  • Shellbugs chaurus mothers?

    13 messages
    • I want the shellbugs to be chaurus mother because if they are not killing a shellbug will doom the speices
    • For me it will be more cool that shellbug are actually larvae, and that they can evolve in some very dangerous creature :)
  • Shellbugs

    5 messages
    • Its possible that they are in areas we don't know about. But your probably right
    • wrote:DimensionLord1 wrote:I stop before getting the last piece of chitin to avoid killing them. For all we know they could be...
*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+