Microcosmus sabatieri

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Microcosmus sabatieri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Tunicata
Class: Ascidiacea
Family: Pyuridae
Genus: Microcosmus
Species: Microcosmus sabatieri
Binomial name
Microcosmus sabatieri
(Roule, 1885)

Microcosmus sabatieri is a species of tunicates (sea squirts). The species has a rocky-shape appearance. It is mainly found in the Mediterranean Sea.

It is used as food in parts of Europe, such as France and Italy, where it is known as a sea violet or sea fig.

Inhalant siphon of Microcosmos sabatieri. The yellow feature at the left is a clutch of mollusk eggs.


Main article: Sea squirts as food

All species of Microcosmus are edible, but it is mainly M. sabatieri which is marketed.[1] In the Mediterranean, it is eaten raw, often with an acidic condiment such as lemon juice or vinegar with shallots. It has a strong iodine taste which not all appreciate.

Other names[edit]


Plants of the family Aizoaceae, the genus Carpobrotus, are also known as 'sea fig' in the Mediterranean.


Fishmongers in the Mediterranean also use the following names:

  • Violet or Viourlet
  • Biju ou Bijut ou Bichu
  • Patate de mer
  • Stronzi di mare. Referring to Sea cucumbers, echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea (Liguria)
  • Limone di mare (Italy)
  • Carnummole (Campania)
  • Fouska (Greece)
  • Morsko jaje (litt. "sea egg" (Croatia)


External links[edit]