In Greek mythology, Taphius founded the city Taphos on the island of the same name, and was its king. He also gave his name to the Taphians, a people that inhabited Taphos and nearby islands, which formed part of Odysseus's kingdom at the time of the Trojan War. According to one genealogy, Taphius was the son of Poseidon and Hippothoë (daughter of Mestor, son of Perseus). However, according to another (more plausible) genealogy Taphius's father was Pterelaus, the son of Lelex, who ruled in Acarnania. Both versions agree that Taphius had a son, also called Pterelaus ('Pterelaus II').