The alimentary canal of the maldanid polychaetes Clymenella torquata (Leidy), and Euclymene oerstedi (Claparède (=Caesicirrus neglectus Arwidsson, 1911) resembles, in many ways, that of the arenicolids. It is divided into buccal mass, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach and intestine, the three latter regions showing further subdivision. The buccal mass and anterior pharynx together form an eversible proboscis. The pharynx, oesophagus, and greater part of the intestine are ciliated. Simple feeding experiments, and histochemical tests, suggest that the stomach is concerned with the digestion and absorption of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, that the anterior intestine is a digestive and major absorptive region, and that the posterior intestine is a storage region. Waste materials are stored mainly in the wall of the oesophagus. A certain amount of intracellular digestion is carried out in the intestine of Euclymene but not in Clymenella. The difference is attributed to the richer, diatomaceous diet of Clymenella. British individuals of this species, being apparently selective feeders, differ not only from Euclymene but also from American ones, both of which ingest the substratum non-selectively.

The pharynx, oesophagus and rectum are surrounded by plexuses of blood capillaries, while the remaining regions are associated with a blood sinus system which varies in position and form in the different regions, lying deepest in the absorptive intestine. The gut muscle seems to be more concerned with moving the blood forward through the sinus system and into the anterior plexus than with moving the food backward. One region of the stomach musculature is especially concerned with this circulation. Rectal respiration probably occurs.