The red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), a concealed tissue borer, is a lethal pest of palms and is reported to attack 17 palm species worldwide. Although the weevil was first reported on coconut Cocos nucifera from South Asia, during the last two decades it has gained a foothold on date palm Phoenix dactylifera in several Middle Eastern countries from where it has moved to Africa and Europe, mainly due to the movement of infested planting material. In the Mediterranean region, RPW also severely damages Phoenix canariensis. Currently, the pest is reported in c. 15% of the coconut-growing countries and in nearly 50% of the date palm-growing countries. Infested palms, if not detected early and treated, often die. However, palms in the early stages of attack respond to chemical treatment with insecticide. RPW has been managed in several countries employing an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy including the use of food-baited pheromone traps. Early detection of infestation in the field is important for the success of any RPW-IPM programme. Ideally, movement of planting material from infested plantations within the country and also from one country to another needs to be stopped. Wherever this is not possible, it is essential to implement strict pre- and post-entry quarantine regimes, wherein only pest-free and certified planting material can be transported. The existing pheromone-based IPM programme can be strengthened by intensifying the search for effective natural enemies, coupled with the introduction of resistance in palms to RPW. This article reviews the work done during the last 100 years on various aspects of RPW viz. life history, damage and symptoms of attack, seasonal activity, spatial distribution, host range, IPM and its main components, including trapping adult weevils and chemical control, besides biological control, host plant resistance and male sterile technique.