Why do dragonflies dip their abdomens into the water when they lay their eggs?

You may have observed female dragonflies depositing their fertilized eggs into the water, where they will hatch into larvae.

The eggs are sometimes inserted into underwater plant stems and sometimes smeared onto the surface of the water.

More than three hundred eggs may be laid at one time. Sometimes several hundred females lay their eggs in the same spot, producing large egg masses up to two feet across.