Cheilostome bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa; Order Cheilostomata) originated in the latest Jurassic but remained at low diversity until the late Albian–early Cenomanian, when they began an explosive radiation that has continued to the present day. Most knowledge of Late Cretaceous cheilostomes comes from Europe and the USA from deposits associated with the western Tethys Ocean. Only a few previous records of Cretaceous bryozoans exist from the margin of eastern Asia in the NW Pacific. We examined material from four localities of early– middle Campanian age in the Himenoura Group, Shimokoshikijima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Kyushu, Japan, and detected six cheilostome species but no cyclostomes. Two species were relatively common. For one of these, we erect the new genus Kenocharixa and describe a new species, Kenocharixa kashimaensis; we also transfer Charixa goshouraensis Dick, Komatsu, Takashima, and Ostrovsky and Conopeum stamenocelloides Gordon and Taylor to Kenocharixa. We describe the other common species as Marginaria prolixa sp. nov. We detected four species as a single specimen each and identified them only to genus (Charixa sp. A) or listed them as Incertae sedis (A, B and C). Among the six cheilostomes, five are primitive anascan-grade (malacostegan) species and one is an anascan-grade neocheilostome. Compared to Campanian–Maastrichtian bryozoan faunas in Europe and the USA, the Himenoura fauna is low in diversity and morphological disparity, with no cribrimorph or ascophoran species detected. Previous researchers have suggested that the NW Pacific biota became isolated from that of the Tethys in the latest Aptian–middle Albian interval. We advance the hypothesis that the Late Cretaceous bryozoan fauna in the NW Pacific is a low diversity relict of the fauna present when this isolation occurred. While Tethyan cheilostome lineages underwent a major radiation associated with the origins of cribrimorph and ascophoran frontal shields, the NE Pacific lineages failed to diversify at the same rate and remained at low diversity and disparity. Testing this hypothesis will require much further sampling in Cretaceous deposits along the margin of East Asia.
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