1. A son of Ares and Astyoche, and brother of Ialmenus, together with whom he led the Minyans of Orchomenos against Troy, in thirty ships. (Hom. H. ii. 511, &c.) In the war against Troy, he was slain by the hand of Deïphobus, at which Ares was filled with anger and indignation. (H. xiii. 519, &c., xv. 110, &c.; comp. Paus. ix. 37. § 3.) According to Apollodorus (i. 9. § 16, iii. 10. § 8) Ascalaphus was one of the Argonauts, and also one of the suitors of Helen. Hyginus in one passage (Fab. 97) calls Ascalaphus and Ialmenus sons of Lycus of Argos, while in another (Fab. 159) he agrees with the common account. One tradition described Ascalaphus as having gone from Troy to Samareia, and as having been buried there by Ares. The name of Samareia itself was derived from this occurrence, that is, from sama or sêma and Arês. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1009.)
2. A son of Acheron by Gorgyra (Apollod. i. 5. § 3) or by Orphne. (Ov. Met. v. 540.) Servius (ad Aen. iv. 462) calls him a son of Styx. When Persephone was in the lower world, and Pluto gave her permission to return to the upper, provided she had not eaten anything, Ascalaphus declared that she had eaten part of a pomegranate. Demeter (according to Apollodorus, l. c., ii. 5. § 12) punished him by burying him under a huge stone, and when subsequently this stone was removed by Heracles, she changed Ascalaphus into an owl. According to Ovid, Persephone herself changed him into an owl by sprinkling him with water of the river Phlegethon. There is an evident resemblance between the mythus of Ascalabus and that of Ascalaphus. The latter seems to be only a modification or continuation of the former, and the confusion may have arisen from the resemblance between the words askalaxos, a lizard, and askalaphos, an owl.