Male dragonflies have complex genitalia, different from those found in other insects. These include cerci for grasping or holding the female and a secondary set of copulatory organs on the abdomen in which the sperm are held after being produced by the primary genitals. To mate, the male grasps the female by the thorax or head and the female bends her abdomen forward so that her own genitalia can be grasped by the copulatory organs holding the sperm. This is called the "wheel" position or "love wheel".
Mating is often done near water since once the act is completed the female will lay her eggs either in the water or on vegetation near water.