Found under leaf litter and mud at the bottom of Wildcat Creek near Lake Anza. It is definitely an amphibian larva, of which I am almost certain is that of the California newt. A juvenile bullfrog and a red swamp crayfish were found in its vicinity, both of which are introduced species and most likely negatively impact the California newt.
Larva with gills.
The California newt or orange-bellied newt, with scientific name Taricha torosa, is a newt species endemic to California, in the Western United States.