Exophytic egg-layers extrude fertilized eggs, often in a clump, through the genital opening in their eighth abdominal segment. The female flies over the water, stopping at intervals to descend to the surface and tap the abdomen in the water, releasing the cluster of eggs. This mode is characteristic of most dragonfly families, for example skimmers (Libellulidae), emeralds (Corduliidae), and clubtails (Gomphidae).
Others actually deposit their egg masses on leaves and stems above the water, and the larvae drop into the water when the eggs hatch.
Oviposition sites are presumably chosen as good larval habitats, and several egg-laying females will often collect at the same spot, presumably attracted by the ones already there.