Immersion in a virtual dry forest encountering butterfly and associated plant species and completing exploratory and educational assignments designed to be fun and interactive can potentially lead to real-world knowledge acquisition and action such as the creation of home and school butterfly gardens and active participation in citizen science. A The federally endangered Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly (Heraclides aristodemus ponceanus) is a charismatic, flagship species in the Florida Keys (USA) B researchers often look for Schaus’ swallowtail caterpillars and adults by locating their caterpillar host plant (Amyris elemifera); however, the public is less likely to encounter this butterfly considering the hostile terrain and conditions including swarms of mosquitoes C the dry forest (in the Florida Keys) is hot, humid, and rich D the ruddy daggerwing (Marpesia petreus) inhabits dry forests and adds to the biodiversity in the virtual dry forest world E magnifying glass used in the game to help identify butterfly and plant species F participant explores the dry forest terrain without the heat, humidity, and swarms of mosquitoes. Organisms that visit butterfly gardens in south Florida (USA): G large orange sulphur (Phoebis agarithe) H syrphid fly (Palpada albifrons) I atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala) J tree snails (Bulimulidae) K gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and L spiders (unidentified species). Home and school butterfly gardens can be a sanctuary for wildlife in urban areas: M butterfly garden with high plant diversity planted at Coral Terrace Elementary School (Miami-Dade County, USA).

  Part of: Clayborn J, Delamarre A (2019) Living room conservation: a virtual way to engage participants in insect conservation. Rethinking Ecology 4: 31-43.