Feeding, defecation, palp behaviour and motility of the tubicolous annelid, Magelona alleni were observed in a laboratory environment. Both surface deposit, and to a lesser extent, suspension feeding were exhibited, with the ingestion of sand grains, and of smaller amounts of foraminiferans and administered commercially available suspension. Predominantly sand could be seen moving through the gut, resulting in conspicuous defecation, not previously observed in other magelonid species. During this ‘sand expulsion’ behaviour, individuals turned around in a network of branched burrows. The posterior was extended from the burrow and substantial amounts of sand were expelled in a string-like formation, involving mucus. The posterior morphology of M. alleni differs greatly compared with other European magelonid species, in possessing a large terminal anus, likely related to its diet. In contrast to what has been recorded for other magelonids, M. alleni appears predominately non-selective. The current paper adds credence to the idea that multiple feeding modes exist within the family. Tube-lined burrows were observed to be primarily permanent, and motility of the species reduced in comparison to other magelonids. The differences noted between M. alleni and other species is most likely linked to its tubicolous lifestyle. The effect of environmental parameters on observed behaviours is discussed.