Perdix was a nephew of Daedalus, and like his uncle, a gifted man. He invented the saw, the chisel and the compasses. The story goes that Daedalus became jealous of his skills, so threw him down from the temple of Athena on the Acropolis at Athens.

As he fell he was changed by Athena into a partridge, perdix. Robert Graves points out that this bird was a symbol of mating (from the dance of the cock before the hen) and that it was sacred to Aphrodite.