We cloned two isoforms of the Xenopus Eya1 orthologue. They show identical patterns of expression that closely resemble the previously described expression of XSix1, but partly differ from the expression of Eya1 in other vertebrates. XEya1 is expressed in the somites and hypaxial muscle precursors, but not in the pronephros. Moreover, all ectodermal placodes except the lens placode strongly express XEya1. At neural plate stages, ectodermal XEya1 expression starts in two domains, the anterior neural folds and a domain lateral to the neural folds. At tailbud stages, XEya1 expression continues in the adenohypophysis, all neurogenic placodes and placodally-derived structures including cranial ganglia, the otic vesicle and lateral line primordia.