Here, we report and characterize deep sequencing data and bioinformatics analysis of small RNAs from X. tropicalis gastrula. A total of 17,553,124 reads with perfect match to the genome derived from 2,616,053 unique sequences were identified. Seventy-seven percent of theses sequences were not found in previous reports from X. tropicalis oocytes and somatic tissues. Bioinformatics analyses indicate that a large fraction of the small RNAs are PIWI-interacting RNAs. Up to 23.9% of small RNAs mapped to transposable elements and 27% to genic regions. Most of the abundant transposon-derived small RNAs are found in oocyte and gastrula libraries, suggesting that transposons also need to be silenced during early embryonic development. Importantly, novel clusters of piRNAs whose expression is activated after zygotic transcription begins were identified in the genome of X. tropicalis. Additionally, miRNAs were also identified and many of them are not present in oocytes, suggesting that miRNA expression is stage-specific. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first high throughput data release and bioinformatics characterization of small RNAs during Xenopus early embryonic development. genesis 50:572–58, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.