Stylopharyngeus muscle

Jump to: navigation, search
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 (pharynx)
Nerve: glossopharyngeal nerve
Action: elevate the larynx, elevate the pharynx, swallowing
MeSH Pharyngeal+Muscles
Dorlands/Elsevier m_22/12550987

The stylopharyngeus is a muscle in the head that stretches between the 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 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 with 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.


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


The stylopharyngeus:

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

Embryological Origin

Third Pharyngeal Arch

See also

Additional images

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

de:Musculus stylopharyngeus hu:Musculus stylopharyngeus sr:Стилофарингеални мишић