Agnathobathynella ecclesi gen. n., sp. n. is described from interstitial waters of a stream in Malawi (Africa). There are several unique features characterizing the new genus: mandibles without cutting part, paragnaths extremely elongated, teeth and setae of the maxillula and also the maxilla specialized in various ways, 8th male thoracopod without penis, thoracopods 1 to 7 with 3-segmented endopodites and very reduced setation. Probable relationships between the new genus and Nannobathynella as well as the Gallobathynellinae are discussed. The opinion that morphological diversification is relatively poor in the Bathynellidae is re-examined in the light of recent knowledge and is shown to be invalid.