Variable Bluet.This is an example of why you have to check every individual. Nine times out of ten around here a black and blue damselfly like this will be an Azure Bluet, but occasionally, it turns out to be something else, like this male Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum. The key difference is the way the blue 'shoulder' stripe looks like an exclamation mark.
Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn.I love these beetles with their blond marcel waved hairs and ridiculous name (it's hard to tell whether the English or the scientific is more silly sounding - Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Agapanthia villosoviridescens!)
Knotgrass moth caterpillar.Hairily attractive Knotgrass Acronita rumicis moth caterpillars are often present in some numbers on brambles. This is a member of the huge family of Noctuidae, which doesn't have many species with hairy caterpillars. The adult moths are more typical Noctuids, being patterned in various shades of grey.
Broad Bodied Chaser.I frequently encounter female Broad Bodied Chasers lurking about in the undergrowth like this one. It is resting in the shade and probably avoiding bothersome males at the water's edge, who are only interested in one thing.
Emperor moth caterpillars.These little Emperor moth Saturnia pavonia caterpillars are only young (second instar). They are a couple of centimetres long here, but will triple their size and completely change colour, ending up as very large green caterpillars with black and yellow markings within weeks. Eventually, after going their separate ways once they are bigger, and overwintering in their coccoons (they are related to silkworms), they will hatch into impressively large moths.
With 'friends' like these, it's no wonder brambles Rubus spp are so vigorous. The two species above were not the only ones making themselves at home and eating like crazy. All these creatures, and more, were photographed in the Brenne on a single day in late May.