Helicis minor

The Helicis minor (musculus helicis minor or smaller muscle of helix) is a small skeletal muscle. The helicis minor is an intrinsic muscle of the outer ear. The muscle runs obliques and covers the helical crus, part of the helix located just above the tragus.

Helicis minor
The muscles of the auricula (Helicis minor visible at center)
OriginBase of the helical crus
InsertionAnterior aspect of the helical crus
ArteryAuricular branches of posterior auricular and auricular branch of occipital arteries
NervePosterior auricular nerve a branch of the facial nerve
ActionsAdjusting the shape of the anterior margin of the ear cartilage
LatinMusculus helicis minor
Anatomical terms of muscle

The helicis minor originates from the base of the helical crus, runs obliques and inserts at the anterior aspect of the helical crus where it curves upward above the tragus.[1]

The function of the muscle is to assist in adjusting the shape of the anterior margin of the ear cartilage. While this is a potential action in some individuals, in the majority of individuals the muscle modifies auricular shape to a minimal degree.[1]

The helicis minor is developmentally derived from the second pharyngeal arch[1] It seem that only in primates is the helicis major and minor two distinctive muscles.[2]

Additional images

See also


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1035 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. "Helicis minor". AnatomyExpert. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  2. Diogo, Rui; Wood, Bernard. Comparative Anatomy and Phylogeny of Primate Muscles and Human Evolution. Taylor & Francis Inc. p. 371. ISBN 978-1-57808-767-9.

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