The Late Cretaceous period witnessed the rapid radiation of angiosperms along with the development of microfloral provinces namely Normapolles in eastern North America and Europe and Aquilapollenites in western North America and Asia. The Tar Heel Formation of the Black Creek Group has been assigned an Early Campanian age based on invertebrate faunal and palynological data. Samples from Goldsboro and Tar River localities of the Tar Heel beds showed the abundant occurrence of two western Aquilapollenites species in addition to diverse Normapolles grains. Based on these earlier studies, it was unclear whether the occurrence of grains of this western element at the Goldsboro and Tar River localities was due to Aquilapollenites-producing plants being present or to long distance dispersal. To resolve the controversy of occurrence of Aquilapollenites in the east, this study was expanded to other localities of the Tar Heel Formation including those that yielded Aquilapollenites. A total of 103 samples from Elizabethtown, Goldsboro, Ivanhoe, Lock, Tar River and Willis Creek localities of the Tar Heel Formation were investigated for palynomorphs. Most of these samples yielded rich assemblage of Normapolles grains. Species of Basopollis, Complexiopollis, Labrapollis, Plicapollis, Pseudoplicapollis, Trudopollis, and tetraporate Normapolles were reported from all the localities. Samples from the other localities did not yield Aquilapollenites grains. The lack of grains at the other localities and in additional samples from the original localities in this study suggests that occurrence of Aquilapollenites grains is more likely to be due to long distance dispersal of the western element during the Campanian.

Key words: Aquilapollenites Normapolles, palynology, Tar Heel Formation