Ephrin-A2 and -A5 are thought to be anteroposterior mapping labels for the retinotectal/retinocollicular projection. Here, gene disruptions of both these ephrins are characterized. Focal retinal labeling reveals moderate map abnormalities when either gene is disrupted. Double heterozygotes also have a phenotype, showing an influence of absolute levels. In vitro assays indicate these ephrins are required for repellent activity in the target and also normal responsiveness in the retina. In double homozygotes, anteroposterior order is almost though not completely lost. Temporal or nasal retinal labelings reveal quantitatively similar but opposite shifts, with multiple terminations scattered widely over the target. These results indicate an axon competition mechanism for mapping, with a critical role for ephrins as anteroposterior topographic labels. Dorsoventral topography is also impaired, showing these ephrins are required in mapping both axes.