Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 30 - 40
  Temperature range (°C): 15.316 - 15.316
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.535 - 0.535
  Salinity (PPS): 38.444 - 38.444
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.528 - 5.528
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.095 - 0.095
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.434 - 1.434

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 30 - 40
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Microcosmus sabatieri

Microcosmus sabatieri are a species of Tunicates. 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. A similar species (Pyura chilensis) is also used as food in Chile.

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


All species of Microcosmus are edible but it is mainly M. sabatieri which is marketed. In the Mediterranean it is eaten raw, often with an acidic condiment such as lemon juice or vinegar with shallots. The iodized taste is not suitable for all palates.

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 (Liguria)
  • Limone di mare (Italy)
  • Carnummole (Campania)
  • Fouska (Greece)

Outside Europe[edit]

  • In Korea a very small, one centimeter diameter tunicate called mideodeok (미더덕) is added to some soup recipes. Diners must remove the meat to chew and then spit out the skin.
  • In Chile, the species Pyura chilensis is known as Piure and is highly valued. It is served raw, with lots of chopped onions and lemon juice.
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