The red palm weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an invasive, concealed and destructive tissue borer, and it becomes a lethal pest of the palm family of plants and has been reported to attack 20 palm species around the globe. Here we report a systematic transcriptomic study on embryogenesis of RPW, where we analyze the transcriptomes across five developmental stages of RPW embryogenesis, involving four embryonic stages (E1, E2, E3 and E4) and one larval stage (L1). Using the RNA-seq and next-generation platforms, we generated 80 to 91 million reads for each library and assemble 22 532 genes that are expressed at different embryonic stages. Among the total transcripts from the five embryonic development stages, we found that 30.45 % are differentially expressed, 10.10 % show stage-specificity and even a larger fraction, 62.88 %, exhibit constitutive expression in all the stages. We also analyzes the expression dynamics of several conserved signaling pathways (such as Hedgehog, JAK-STAT, Notch, TGF-β, Ras/MAPK and Wnt), as well as key developmental genes, including those related to apoptosis, axis formation, Hox complex, neurogenesis and segmentation. The datasets provide an essential resource for gene annotation and RPW functional genomics, including studies by using tools and concepts from multiple disciplines, such as development, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics.