Pterelaus was the son of Taphius and thus, the grandson of the first Pterelaus. Another account makes Taphius the son of Poseidon and Hippothoë, making him grandson of them and a descendant of the Argive hero Perseus.
The god Poseidon had caused to grow upon his head a single magic golden hair which, so long as it continued to grow there, made him immortal and unconquerable. Pterelaus and his kin raided the cattle of the king of Mycenae; but he was killed in a retaliatory expedition led by Amphitryon (later the stepfather of Heracles) after being betrayed by Comaetho, who had fallen in love with Amphitryon and pulled out the golden hair from her father's head, rendering him defenceless. The vanquished Taphian realm was handed over to Amphitryon's allies, including Cephalus. Cephalus ruled over many islands, and his followers became known as Cephallenians. Odysseus was a descendant of Cephalus by the following lineage: Cephalus - Arcesius - Laërtes - Odysseus.
- Apollodorus, The Library with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. ISBN 0-674-99135-4. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. ISBN 0-674-99328-4. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
- Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.