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Other Terms: Epicranius, Musculus occipitofrontalis, Muscle occipito-frontal

Muscle parts

Frontal belly; Occipital belly

Latin name

Musculus epicranius – Musculus occipitofrontalis

Latin muscle parts

Venter frontalis; Venter occipitalis


Branchial arch muscle – second arch (Facial muscle)


In English this muscle’s name is the muscle upon the skull that goes from the brow to the back of the head. Epicranius come from the Greek epi meaning “upon” and kranion meaning “head, or skull.” The occipitofrontal part of this muscle derives its name from the Latin frons or frontis meaning “brow, or the fore part of something,” and the Latin ob meaning “toward” and caput meaning “head.”


Frontal belly – arises from the fascia over the brow ridges. Occipital belly – arises from the highest nuchal lines


Frontal belly - anterior edge of epicranial aponeurosis Occipital belly - posterior edge of epicranial aponeurosis


The frontal belly raises the eyebrows and wrinkles the skin of the forehead when it is fixed at its aponeurotic attachment. When it is fixed at its attachment in the fascia above the brow ridges, the frontal belly tenses the forehead skin and pulls the aponeurosis forward. The occipital belly of the muscle pulls the aponeurosis posteriorly towards the occipital bone. Working together, in an alternate fashion, the two bellies of muscle cause the epicranial aponeurosis to slide back and forth over the top of the cranium.

Nerve supply

Facial nerve (Cranial nerve VII)

Blood supply

Superficial temporal artery - parietal and frontal branches; posterior auricular artery; occipital artery


Musculus occipitofrontalis


Muscle occipito-frontal


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