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Title: Stylopharyngeus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pharyngeal arch, List of subjects in Gray's Anatomy: XI. Splanchnology, Ascending pharyngeal artery, Cervical part of internal carotid artery, Submandibular triangle
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Stylopharyngeus muscle
Muscles of the pharynx and cheek. (Stylopharyngeus visible at center left.)
Latin musculus stylopharyngeus
Gray's subject #244 1143
Origin Styloid process (temporal)
Insertion    thyroid cartilage (larynx)
Nerve glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX)
Actions elevate the larynx, elevate the pharynx, swallowing
MeSH Pharyngeal+Muscles

The stylopharyngeus is a muscle in the head that stretches between the temporal styloid process and the pharynx.


The stylopharyngeus is a long, slender muscle, cylindrical above, flattened below. It arises from the medial side of the base of the temporal styloid process, passes downward along the side of the pharynx between the superior pharyngeal constrictor and the middle pharyngeal constrictor, and spreads out beneath the mucous membrane.

Some of its fibers are lost in the constrictor muscles while others, joining the palatopharyngeus muscle, are inserted into the posterior border of the thyroid cartilage.

The glossopharyngeal nerve runs on the lateral side of this muscle, and crosses over it to reach the tongue.


Stylopharyngeus is the only muscle in the pharynx innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX) and is done by its motor branch, which supplies special visceral efferent (SVE) fibers to it.


The stylopharyngeus:

  • elevates the larynx
  • elevates the pharynx
  • dilates the pharynx to permit the passage of a large food bolus, thereby facilitating swallowing

Embryological origin

Third pharyngeal arch

See also

Additional images

External links

  • LUC styp
  • GPnotebook

This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

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