Photo: Thierry Heger
Blood feeding insects such as the “kissing bug”, Rhodnius prolixus create a high volume of oxygen radicals when the blood meal is metabolized. Oxygen radicals can damage cell membranes if in high enough concentration and must be neutralized. The neutralization process involves the reaction of the oxygen radical with an oxygen scavenger.
Mammalian blood contains copious amounts of the protein hemoglobin. Metabolism of the protein creates nitrogenous…
Source: Living With Insects Blog