Stymphalus was the son of Elatus and a king of Arcadia. According to Robert Graves, the name 'suggests erotic practices', and could derive from styma, Aeolian Greek for stoma, 'mouth' and phallos, 'phallus'.

The name is also seen in the Stymphahan Birds who were the objective of Heracles' Sixth Labour. These birds were pests who infested the woods around Lake Stymphalus, in turn named for the city founded in north Arcadia by Stymphalus.

They were voracious creatures and even attacked (and ate) men, and they were armed with brazen wings from which they shot at people with steel-tipped feathers. (Heracles scared them off with bronze castanets or a rattle and killed a number as they flew off.) Stymphalus was the father of Parthenope (an innocent name in the midst of all this evil and eroticism) - and she bore Heracles a son, Everes.