Xwnt-2 (formerly Xwnt-2b) is a member of the Xwnt-8 class of axis-inducing Wnts. Its zygotic expression is at the prosencephalic-mesencephalic border of the early tadpole brain and above the heart primordium [Mech. Dev. 63 (1997) 199]. Here, we report that Xwnt-2 has an earlier, maternal pattern of expression. It is detected in the oocyte, egg and the developing embryo. Studies of the spatial localization of maternal Xwnt-2 show transcripts in both vegetal and animal blastomeres with enrichment in the animal hemisphere. The identification of maternal Xwnt-2 raises questions about possible roles of dorsalizing Xwnts in axial patterning of the Xenopus embryo.