The dire wolf (Canis dirus, "fearsome dog") is an extinct species of the genus Canis. The dire wolf lived in the Americas during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene epochs (125,000–9,500 years ago). The species was named in 1858, four years after the first specimen had been found. Two subspecies are recognized: Canis dirus guildayi and Canis dirus dirus. The dire wolf probably evolved from Armbruster's wolf (Canis armbrusteri) in North America.