The composition of the mesozooplanktonic community was studied in the Punta Morales estuary, Gulf of Nicoya, Pacific coast of Costa Rica, during 1997. Oblique plankton hauls were performed during high and low tide using a 280 μm mesh screen net equipped with a flowmeter. The community was characterized by holoplanktonic and meroplanktonic organisms. For the holoplanktonic community, the main groups were copepods (80%) and chaetognaths (16%). The most abundant species were the copepods Acartia lilljeborgii and Paracalanus parvus. A. lilljeborgii is a typical estuarine species that maintains high populations in estuarine systems. Meroplankton was represented mainly by crustacean larvae (66%), and icthyoplankton (18%). The dominance of crustacean larvae and icthyoplankton is an evidence of the ecological importance of the Punta Morales zone
Keywords: abundance, holoplankton, meroplankton, copepods, tropical estuary