Today, I drained the water in our wood-fired redwood hot tub and found a nice surprise.
Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus) was easy to identify because this one is a juvenile. In this stage, they have bright blue tails and the five lines are quite prominent. Actually, the blue seemed brighter to me than this photo indicates. As the skink ages, the lines are less conspicuous and the tail turns a dull gray.
I caught the skink with a minnow net (after much frustration trying to catch with my hands) and transferred him to our waterfall. After posing for a minute, he or she quickly disappeared into the rocks, a more preferred habitat for this lizard than the water. Then, I got out my field guide and quickly learned that I shouldn't have tried to catch him with my hands since they bite. And, the tail will break off easily.
This skink is terrestial, preferring moist habitats like piles of rocks or damp wood piles. This might explain why he was in the hot tub--it is moist and was only about half full at the time. There were lots of mosquito larvae and other aquatic insects--maybe he was feasting on them.