Corlissina maricaensis gen. nov., sp. nov. was obtained from samples of sediment collected in a brackish lagoon of Maricá city, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. The morphological description was based on live observations, after protargol staining, and scanning electron microscopy. The novel species has a cylindrical body shape that is slightly contractile, 230-550 × 35-65 μm, a cytoplasm with many globular inclusions, one row of irregular cortical granules between each somatic kinety, approximately 40-62 somatic kineties, two globular macronuclei measuring 9-24 μm and one micronucleus of approximately 4-9 μm. A subapical oral cavity was approximately 20-80 × 9-25 μm, with an adoral zone on the left side of the buccal field, which was composed of 32-60 polykineties and a paroral at the right side that was composed of 40-57 short polykineties. The new genus is distinguished from other geleiids by a loop-shaped posterior end of the paroral ciliature, made up of two rows of short polykineties, and the oralization of the central superior kinety (K0i), forming a row of dikinetids that borders the adoral zone internally, followed by several rows of monokinetids. In the phylogenetic analyses, the novel species was recovered as the sister group of Parduczia orbis with full support values based on 18S rRNA gene sequences. This work also indicates some problems in the definitions of the Geleiidae and proposes a new diagnosis for this karyorelictid family.