According to Ovid, they were born a remarkably handsome boy with whom the naiad Salmacis fell in love and prayed to be united forever. A god, in answer to her prayer, merged their two forms into one and transformed them into an androgynous form. They were one of the Erotes. Because they were a child of Hermes, and consequently a great-grandchild of Atlas (Hermes's mother Maia was the daughter of Atlas), sometimes they are called Atlantiades.
Their more common name in Greek mythology is Hermaphroditus, which is compounded of their parents' names, Hermes and Aphrodite. Hermaphroditus' name is the basis for the word hermaphrodite.