Populations of Biston betularia in the region of The Netherlands around Leiden and Rotterdam were resampled. A comparison of three sets of data for 1969–973, 1988 and 1999 enabled a further examination of declines in melanism. Unlike parallel changes for the black carbonaria form of this species in urban regions of Britain, those in The Netherlands involve substantial changes in frequencies of at least two of the intermediate insularia morphs as well as an increase in the non-melanic typica morph. The darkest of the three insularia morphs has shown a transitory pulse of increased frequency in The Netherlands. The dynamics are discussed in relation to the history of air pollution and to straightforward predictions about selection.