Wasp on cover. Book I read in '80s. Man on alien planet where his skin looked gold & he was superstrong & quick.

That's a pair of novels by Bob Shaw, Who Goes Here? and the sequel Warren Peace.

The blurb from the first novel:

"In the 24th century, men join the Space Legion to forget. A memory-erasing machine makes sure they do just that. The machine purges the memory of all traces of guilt, but for Legion recruit Warren Pearce it has wiped out everything. He must have had a very nasty past indeed - if only he could recall it. Into battle with the Legion, Warren faces vicious predators in fearsome conflict without the slightest idea why he's been stupid enough to sign on in the first place! "

Throughout the novel Warren is pursued by a pair of golden men, known as Oscars, who are some sort of law enforcers. He is told that whenever the Oscars catch a criminal, they feed him to the Rugs. They eventually catch him. The Rug then bonds with him, and turns him into an Oscar. When he wakes up in his new golden body, he recognizes his captors as his two best friends.

In the second novel he loses the symbiote.

I can't find any cover with a giant wasp, though.
Here's a few snippets about the rugs, courtesy of Google Books.

Wow, nice find, Pete_100. It certainly sounds like the right story given the detail matches.
I'm gonna put "King of Argent" John T. Phillifent into the mix. Golden skin, yes. Wasp, can't remember.
We’ll likely never see an accepted answer but I’ll throw the following into the mix:

On the Symb-Socket Circuit by Kenneth Bulmer (1972). Check this cover - the book has killer wasps and a symbiotic rug like alien.


From a review: “The "Symb-Socket Circuit" refers to the circuit of planets traveled by an elite class of individuals known as "symb-socketeers." They have been operated on, so they can plug compatible alien animals into their bloodstreams via a socket at the base of their necks to sustain and adapt them to planets with harsh environments. They share a symbiotic relationship with the animals and can communicate quasi-telepathically with them (this is known as "symbing"). These living "life support systems" are called "alices," regardless of their species. "... a man's alice was his life." The work the symb-socketeers do involves collecting/mining/harvesting whatever valuable resources the individual planets might have to offer. They are contracted by various big corporations. The use of "alices" greatly cuts the costs and time it would take to do the work otherwise. "The provision of a small annulus venting into your neck gave you opportunities denied to those dependent on a space suit and clumsy air tanks strapped to their backs."Apparently, they do all of this for fun. "Men on the symb-socket circuit came to a planet and accepted the local alice and did their job enjoying themselves in the galaxy and joying in their work as its functional expression of leisure and then moved on."

Mathew Wade became a symb-socketeer hoping to escape the pursuit of the coords. Seven days ago, he landed on Ashramdrego (the sun is Ashram, and the planet is Drego). On Ashramdrego, the local resource of value is a bush called geron that produces gerontidril (a substance capable of extending one's lifespan). The Kriseman Corporation has made its base here, looking to profit come harvest time (geronditril is one of the most valuable things in the galaxy). However, they have had trouble with the native "alices" (squoodles) abandoning their symbionts to die in the poisonous gases of Drego. There is also the threat of a large bee-like predator (ruptor) and an occasional temporary madness called the "juvenile sickness."

I'm not the original poster. This is a 2-page thread, and my post is top of page 2.

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